Married Red Arrows commander abruptly leaves squadron after probe into affair with junior colleague

Married Red Arrows commander abruptly leaves squadron after getting a junior colleague pregnant

  • Red Arrows leader David Montenegro stepped down from his post in November
  • The father-of-two was recalled from tour after getting a colleague pregnant
  • The RAF has refused to disclose any of the findings of the subsequent inquiry 

A Red Arrows commander who got a junior colleague pregnant has left the squadron abruptly following an inquiry into his conduct.

David Montenegro, a married father of two, was recalled from a promotional tour of Gulf states in November after the Mail revealed the affair. The RAF has refused to disclose any of the findings of the subsequent inquiry into the wing commander’s relationship with a female engineer.

But yesterday, hours after being approached by this newspaper, defence officials unveiled Adam Collins as his successor as ‘officer commanding’ of the aerobatics team. Top brass insisted the timing was pure coincidence and the wing commander was always due to leave his post.

The engineer, a corporal, has accused Cmdr Montenegro of pursuing her then trying to ‘manipulate her’ into an abortion, allegedly telling her: ‘You know, it’s just a bunch of cells, it’s not a baby.’ She later suffered a miscarriage.

David Montenegro (left), a married father of two, stepped down as wing commander of the Red Arrows after the Mail revealed an affair (pictured alongside his successor Adam Collins)

David Montenegro (left), a married father of two, stepped down as wing commander of the Red Arrows after the Mail revealed an affair (pictured alongside his successor Adam Collins)

The RAF has refused to disclose any of the findings of the subsequent inquiry into the wing commander's relationship with a female engineer

The RAF has refused to disclose any of the findings of the subsequent inquiry into the wing commander’s relationship with a female engineer

Senior officers are strictly forbidden from indulging in any physical relations with colleagues, in particular when the affair could compromise operational effectiveness. The Mail can also reveal that one of the officers who led the inquiry is Facebook friends with Cmdr Montenegro, who is a former ‘Red One’, the lead pilot of the team.

Squadron Leader Katie Adcock is said to have referred to Cmdr Montenegro by his ‘Monty’ nickname throughout her interview with the corporal – a move the woman claims indicates bias.

The Red Arrows are now embroiled in the biggest scandal of their 60-year history.

As the Mail has revealed, two pilots have been sacked over sexual misconduct claims and four more have been disciplined after more than 40 personnel made complaints.

A ‘toxic culture’ in the squadron led to sexual assault claims being played down and sexual harassment and bullying allegations scarcely drawing attention.

Last night the woman said: ‘Everything has been brushed aside. That’s the RAF’s overriding approach to misconduct and abuse of women. Her calling him ‘Monty’ time and again was overfamiliar and unprofessional. I felt there was a conflict of interest.’

An RAF spokesman said its investigation into the allegations made against Cmdr Montenegro was ‘a matter for the individual and the RAF’.

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