Ascent flying instructor and former Red Arrow pilot, Squadron Leader (Retired) Baz Cross, based at RAF Valley reached a personal and professional milestone recently when he achieved an incredible 6000 flying hours.
Baz (55), joined the RAF in 1982 and is now a civilian flying instructor with Ascent, serving alongside regular RAF and RN instructors. He is no stranger to RAF Valley, having gained his wings at the Anglesey base in 1985. He stayed on at RAF Valley to serve as a ‘Creamy’ instructor straight after training until 1987.
Flying tours followed on the F4 Phantom at RAF Wattisham, the Red Arrows at RAF Scampton, the F3 Tornado at RAF Leeming, the Tucano T1 – where he was Officer Commanding 72 Squadron – at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Baz also served a tour at Linton-on-Ouse with the Central Flying School. In his last period of uniformed service, Baz served on a Full-Time Reserve contract with 72 Squadron, flying the Tucano T1.
Baz joined Ascent in 2018, and following training in the United States flew the first RAF sortie of the new Texan T1 advanced turbo-prop trainer from RAF Valley in February 2019.
Baz said: “ I’ve been fortunate to fly some incredible aircraft and work with some incredible people in my career. As a kid, I attended air shows with my father and was inspired by the Red Arrows – little knowing that one day I would fly with them myself. That has got to be a career highlight, along with commanding 72 Squadron. It’s great to be back at Valley flying the Texan and helping the next generation of RAF and RN pilots reach the front line.”
Wing Commander Chris Ball, Officer Commanding the Texan Integration Squadron at RAF Valley says: “ Baz is a key member of our Texan team. He brings a wealth of valuable experience in not just teaching in the air, but also developing our whole approach to training, writing the courseware and sortie guides, and training our instructors. Reaching 6000 hours flight time sitting on ejection seats is a milestone that very few achieve, and the Texan team would not have achieved all that it has without his contribution that stems from that experience.”
(Image : Crown Copyright RAF Valley )