Flames billowing around him, Red Arrows pilot David Stark parachutes to safety after ejecting in the nick of time.
Behind him, a massive fireball engulfs his plane as it plummets to earth – and trapped inside is engineer Jonathan Bayliss.
The 41-year-old had no chance. He was killed instantly as the Hawk T1 crashed less than two minutes after take-off.
Just in time: David Stark is seen parachuting to safety as the fireball rages behind him, killing engineer Jonathan Bayliss
Corporal Bayliss had only just joined the elite group of engineers who fly in the Red Arrows jets with the pilots. It was the fulfilment of a schoolboy dream to take to the skies with the famous aerobatic display team.
Last night as colleagues paid tribute to Cpl Bayliss, Flight Lieutenant Stark, 35, was in a stable condition in hospital. These dramatic images of the crash, the first involving the Red Arrows since 2011, were captured by amateur photographer David Taylor, 50, as he watched the horror unfold at RAF Valley, Anglesey on Tuesday.
‘I was truly shocked by what I saw,’ he said. ‘The plane took off normally, its wheels retracted, but it then turned sharply, its landing gear came back out and turned back towards the runway at an impossible angle.
Jonathan Bayliss (pictured, left) was killed in the Red Arrows accident while pilot David Stark (pictured, right) managed to escape after ejecting himself mid-air
‘I thought, “he’s not going to make it”. The plane came about 70 or 80ft overhead, then there was a pop rather than an explosion and we could see a fireball.’
Mr Taylor’s images show how just 116 seconds elapsed from take-off to tragedy. He said he will be offering his pictures to police and the RAF to help their investigation.
Tributes to Cpl Bayliss were led by Sergeant Will Allen, leader of the Red Arrows’ travelling support engineers, known as the Circus team.
The jet was captured taking off in Anglesey by photographer David Taylor – who was horrified to see it burst into flames seconds later
‘Jon had the ability to motivate and inspire a team and those around him – no matter the rank, role or person,’ he said.
‘He was so proud to have been chosen to join the Circus team for 2018 and, in being one of the small group of engineers whose job it was to fly in a Red Arrows jet, had fulfilled a schoolboy dream.
‘Jon had a big a presence on the Squadron and with his wide beaming smile, and dry humour, could lighten up any dull moment or lift spirits when needed.
‘Both inside and outside of work, he was a generous, kind and caring man who could also always be relied upon.
‘Having worked with Jon both at the Red Arrows and elsewhere in the Royal Air Force, I know how tirelessly he approached each task and was, what many would describe, a genuine grafter.’
His previous role with the Red Arrows involved leading those who replenish the jets’ dye systems – which create the trademark trails of red, white and blue smoke in their displays.
David Stark lands on the floor amid a flurry of smoke as he survives the crash that resulted in Jonathan Bayliss’ death
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: ‘It is with deep sadness that I heard of the death of Corporal Jonathan Bayliss whilst flying with the Red Arrows on Anglesey.
‘It’s clear from his colleagues that he was an incredibly skilled engineer and held in the highest regard as a teammate, a friend, and a shining example of what the British Armed Forces stand for. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this terrible time.’
Cpl Bayliss, from Kent, enlisted in the RAF in 2001, after working at Brands Hatch motor racing circuit. Before joining the Red Arrows in 2016, he was deployed to the Far East, Middle East and Europe.
Emergency services are pictured at the scene after the jet came crashing down to earth in a ball of flames that killed an engineer aboard
Yesterday, Flt Lt Stark’s family, including his parents Richard and Jennifer, were believed to be at the married father-of-two’s bedside.
The RAF said all Hawk T1 aircraft have been grounded as a ‘precautionary measure’ while police investigations into the crash continue.
Seconds after take-off, the jet turned into a falling fireball in a fatal accident that was the first Red Arrows crash since 2011
The jet was reduced to this wreckage as smoke billowed across the landscape and all aircraft of its kind have not been downed as a temporary measure
Squadron Leader Richard Bland, senior engineering officer of the Red Arrows, said: ‘Everyone on the team has a great story about Jon and, without exception, he was known as a top bloke with an infectious smile, cheeky grin and possessing a dry sense of humour that had the ability to fill a room with laughter.
‘At the same time, Jon was the ultimate professional and embodiment of excellence. As the leader of a team responsible for replenishing the jet’s dye systems last year, he led exceptionally well, looking after his team mates selflessly and was a true inspiration.
‘We have been touched by the messages of condolence received from the wider Air Force, from people who knew Jon across ranks and trades and it is clear people loved him.
‘As a skilled leader, ambassador for the Royal Air Force and knowledgeable technician, Jon had all of the attributes and qualities that define the Red Arrows.’
It is thought the plane was heading to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire where the Red Arrows are usually based.
Wing Commander Andrew Keith, officer commanding the Red Arrows, said: ‘The thoughts of each and every member of the Red Arrows team are with Corporal Jonathan Bayliss’s family and friends. He was a dedicated, skilled and experienced Royal Air Force engineer who we will miss deeply.
‘As a highly-trained technician, Corporal Bayliss made a huge contribution to ensuring the Red Arrows’ aircraft were able to carry out displays and flypasts to millions of people across the globe and I know how proud he was to be part of that team effort.
‘Corporal Bayliss was a popular colleague and someone whom others looked up to, being able to draw inspiration from his knowledge and strength of character.
‘The Red Arrows family is a close one – the Squadron is a small team who live and work side-by-side and the overwhelming number of condolence messages, received from around the world, have been enormously comforting to us all and we are very grateful for that.’
David Stark (pictured, far-left) managed to escape with his life in the crash that killed his engineer at the site over Anglesey in North Wales
The jet was reduced to smoking wreckage following the crash at the RAF Valley in north Wales where the pilot parachuted to safety
Air Vice-Marshal Warren James CBE, Air Officer Commanding (AOC) 22 Group – of which the RAF Aerobatic Team is part of – said: ‘Our heartfelt condolences go to Corporal Jonathan Bayliss’ partner and family at what is a terrible, tragic time.
‘His death has understandably come as a great shock to his colleagues and fellow team mates at the Red Arrows.
‘The incident is a reminder of the risk present with all types of flying but also of the hard work and commitment shared by both air and ground crews alike.
‘All of our thoughts are now with Corporal Bayliss’s family, friends and his colleagues as they try to come to terms with his loss and investigations take place into establishing what happened.’
Yesterday at the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to the as-yet unnamed engineer who died yesterday.
The PM said: ‘I’m sure the whole House will also wish to join me in expressing our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Red Arrows engineer who tragically died in the aircraft incident at RAF Valley yesterday.’
And Mr Corbyn joined Mrs May in sending condolences during Prime Minister’s Questions in Westminster, adding: ‘We wish the pilot well in his recovery.’
The tragedy is the first involving the jets since 2011. In August of that year, Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, 33, was killed in a crash at an airshow near Bournemouth. In November, pilot Sean Cunningham died after he was ejected from a Hawk T1 while on the ground.