[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Tributes given to Nimrod victim
Flt Lt Gareth Nicholas
Flt Lt Gareth Nicholas: Supporting Nato mission
A family man from Cornwall was among the 14 British servicemen killed when a Nimrod plane crashed in Afghanistan on Saturday, the RAF has confirmed.

Flt Lt Gareth Nicholas, 40 - from Newquay, who was married with a 10-year-old daughter - was one of 12 RAF crew on the reconnaissance plane.

A Royal Marine and an army soldier were also on board the plane which crashed in the southern province of Kandahar.

Fl Lt Nicholas's family paid tribute to him and said they were "shattered".

One-minute silence

The plane, based at Kinloss in Scotland, was supporting the Nato mission in the area.

The pilot is believed to have radioed ground staff about a technical fault shortly before the aircraft came down.

Military and civilian personnel at RAF Kinloss held a service on Monday where prayers were said and a one-minute silence observed.

Tributes were also laid at the gates of the base, including a photograph of Flt Lt Nicholas.

Beneath it, a note read: "Husband, Daddy, Son, Brother, Uncle, Nephew, Grandson, Friend. Dearly loved and missed."

Flt Lt Nicholas's sister Gini Tippett, from Newquay, told BBC News how her brother would watch the Nimrods flying out of nearby RAF St Mawgan when he was a boy.

Kinloss
Tributes have been left to the airmen at RAF Kinloss
She said: "We all grew up in Newquay. Gareth used to see the planes flying over all the time and said he was going to fly in them.

"He did what he wanted to do. He loved his job."

Family 'shattered'

He was posted to RAF St Mawgan after training before he was posted to RAF Kinloss as an air electronics officer.

Ms Tippett said: "It was his job and we all knew that something like that might happen one day. You hope it never does, but it did.

"We are all shattered."

Squadron Leader Dave Webster, from RAF St Mawgan, where the flag has been flying at half mast on Monday, said: "We are desperately sad it has come to this bad, bad news today.

"It's a tragedy for all of us because when you join the service you become part of a very large family."

At Treviglas School, which Flt Lt Nicholas attended, teachers are getting ready to welcome back pupils on Tuesday with a special assembly in his memory.




SEE ALSO
Kinloss healing process under way
04 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles
RAF base 'in mourning' over crash
03 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific