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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Iraq air crash serviceman named
Sgt Mark McLaren
Sgt McLaren was a master of his trade, colleagues said
A British serviceman killed after a mid-air crash between two UK helicopters in Iraq has been named as Royal Air Force Sergeant Mark McLaren.

The 27-year-old, from Northumberland, was described as a "consummate" professional by his commanding officer, Wing Commander Chris Hunter.

Sgt McLaren died with Colour Sergeant Mark Powell, of the Parachute regiment, on Sunday.

Defence Secretary Des Browne said reports suggested it was an accident.

Father-of-two Sgt McLaren, was described as having had a "bright future" ahead of him.

'Positive attitude'

He had previously graduated from the Air Loadmaster Specialist Training Course at RAF Shawbury.

Wing Cdr Hunter, Officer Commanding 230 Squadron RAF Aldergrove, described Sgt McLaren as someone who "loved life" and who was a caring husband and father of two sons.

He said: "Sgt McLaren had a positive attitude towards everything he did and a level of self-motivation that was second to none.

"As an Air Loadmaster he was the master of his trade, a consummate professional and committed team player.

"When flying on operations in either the UK or Iraq he always performed at the top of his game and it was a pleasure to fly with him when you were crewed up together."


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