AN RAF Valley flying instructor and former Red Arrow pilot reached a personal and professional 6k milestone.

Squadron Leader (Retired) Baz Cross has achieved an incredible 6000 flying hours in the Royal Air Force.

Baz, 55, joined the RAF in 1982, and is now a civilian flying instructor with Ascent Flying Training, serving alongside regular RAF and RN instructors.

He gained his wings at RAF Valley in 1985. He stayed on at the Anglesey base to serve as a ‘Creamy’ instructor until 1987. (A Creamy is a pilot who once they have finished training are ‘creamed off’ to become an instructor.)

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 Flying Training 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 with the RAF. 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 said: “Baz is a key member of our Texan team. He brings valuable experience in not just teaching in the air, but also developing our whole approach to training, writing the course ware 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.”