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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 14:41 GMT
Funeral for Nimrod crash victim
Flt Sgt Gary Andrews and family
Flt Sgt Andrews was married with two daughters
The funeral has been held of one of the RAF Kinloss servicemen killed when a Nimrod crashed in Afghanistan.

Married father-of-two Flt Sgt Gary Andrews, 48, was described by his parents as an "outgoing, loving and helpful" family man.

Hundreds of mourners attended the service at Bellie Parish Church in his home village of Fochabers in Moray.

The weapon systems operator died with 13 colleagues when the Nimrod crashed on 2 September.

Had he lived five more days he would have served the RAF exactly 30 years
The Reverend Alison Mehigan

Flt Sgt Andrews is survived by his widow, Kristina, daughters, Sophia, 12, and four-year-old Lauren, his parents Peter and Joyce, and an older brother, Terry.

The Reverend Alison Mehigan, who conducted the 50-minute service, said the Afghanistan tragedy had "shaken" the whole community.

She said: "The nation mourned and many tears were shed as our men were brought home, but today we are gathered for another reason.

"In the face of death we are also gathered here to remember and celebrate the life of Gary Andrews."

Coffin of Flt Sgt Gary Andrews
Hundreds of people were at the service to pay tribute

Flt Sgt Andrews was described as a quick-witted, caring man with a tremendous sense of humour whose family were his top priority.

Ms Mehigan said: "Gary was highly skilled at his job, his eye for detail and his dedication to doing everything just right was always of benefit to his fellow crewmates and his squadron as a whole.

"Had he lived five more days he would have served the RAF exactly 30 years and flown over 8,600 hours - equating to a year of his life spent in the air."

Twelve RAF personnel, a Royal Marine and an Army soldier were on board the RAF Nimrod.


SEE ALSO
Funeral service for Nimrod victim
11 Nov 06 |  North East/N Isles
Full Nimrod safety probe promised
31 Oct 06 |  North East/N Isles
RAF bodies return home to Kinloss
12 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles
Tribute for Afghan crash airman
09 Sep 06 |  Scotland

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