The wife of an airman killed in the Tornado jets crash is a search and rescue pilot at the same RAF base.
Flight Lieutenant Fiona Bailey was stood down from her duties as a controller at the RAF Kinloss-based Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ARCC) when her husband, Squadron Leader Samuel Bailey, was involved in the accident.
It is understood that Flt Lt Bailey was taking part in a training exercise when she learned of the accident involving two Tornado GR4’s from RAF Lossiemouth’s XV(Reserve) Squadron.
She was stood down from operations and told of the accident involving her husband, who alongside Flight Lieutenant Adam Sanders was missing presumed dead following the crash.
An MoD spokesman confirmed Flt Lt Bailey's colleagues took her place in the rescue mission. He told the Press and Journal: “While Flight Lieutenant Bailey is employed at the ARCC she took no part in the co-ordination of the SAR response to the recent incident involving two Tornado aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth.”
Flt Lt Bailey, who has a daughter Erin, was honoured in 2005 for her part in a rescue mission off the west coast.
She was co-pilot on the mission to rescue climbers from a rocky mountainside, a task undertaken in gale-force wind conditions. The crew was presented with National Life-Savers awards at a ceremony in London’s Savoy hotel.
The operation to recover the missing aircraft is continuing. The wreckage has been located and the MoD will be contracting a civilian salvage vessel to recover the jets. A spokesman said that the recovery of the two airmen was their main priority.
A third airman, Flight Lieutenant Hywel Poole, 28, was rescued but later died of his injuries in hospital, while the fourth as yet unnamed airman is believed to have been moved to a military hospital suffering from serious injuries.
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