1 Regiment Army Air Corps

Captain Loose

Captain Doug Loose

Sergeant Ollie Kemp

Fatal helicopter crash in Czech Republic Six soldiers were killed when a British Army Air Corps Lynx helicopter crashed in the Czech Republic on 9 September during Exercise Flying Rhino. The six fatalities comprised two aircrew, from 1 Regiment Army Air Corps based at Gutersloh, 

Flying Rhino is an annual Czech-UK exercise to train forward air controller teams, and began on 7 September. Colonel Patrick Marriott, the Chief of Staff of 1 (UK) Division, said: "This is a great tragedy for the whole division, especially for the Royal Artillery and the Army Air Corps who are key elements of the division. At this moment our thoughts and prayers are with all those who suffered a loss on a sad September day in the Czech Republic. The Divisional Commander, Major General Peter Wall, is especially grateful for the assistance of the Czech authorities, not only at the scene but their enormous help generally".  The four soldiers from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery were Gunners Bradley John Gomersall, Vincent Alexander John Crain, Kevin James Dimmock, and Daniel Kelly. Of the two pilots, Captain Douglas Andrew Loose was a Royal Artillery officer serving with 1 Regiment Army Air Corps, aged 33. The other pilot was Sergeant Ollie Kemp, Army Air Corps.  Doug Loose was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1995 after gaining an Honours degree in Economics from Cardiff University. He served with the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land), 19 Regiment Royal Artillery in Colchester, and the Army Training Regiment in Pirbright, before applying to fly with the Army Air Corps in 2000. During his time with the Royal Artillery, Doug served in Great Britain, France, Turkey, and Norway and on operations in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. After completing the Army Pilot’s Course in April 2002 he was posted to 1 Regiment Army Air Corps in Gütersloh, Germany. Since joining the Army Air Corps he has flown in Germany, France and the Czech Republic. "Doug was an outstanding example of an Officer and a true gentleman. He had an inner confidence and strength of character that made him extremely effective in everything that he turned his hand to, but especially as an officer and a pilot. He was a very intelligent Officer who was wholly reliable and professional in all that he did. His leadership and organisational skills soon stood out which resulted in his swift rise to Second in Command of 652 Squadron, a challenge that he easily rose to. He was due to deploy to Iraq later this year and apply for a transfer to the Army Air Corps, both of which he would have had little problems with. Under his calm, quiet exterior was a superb sense of humour that warmed all that knew him, be they soldiers or fellow Officers. Doug also found time to compete at Army sports, being a past Army duathlon champion, and an Army triathlete. "Capt Doug Loose was one of life’s true characters that those around him were honoured to call a friend. A loving husband, he was only recently married and our deepest sympathy goes to his wife, and to all their relatives. He will be tragically missed by everyone." Sergeant Ollie Kemp joined the Army Air Corps in June 1987. While serving with 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, he rapidly rose to the rank of Corporal before applying for flying training in 1991. On completion of his flying training he was posted back to 3 Regiment as a Lynx Aircrewman where he deployed on exercise to Canada, Cyprus, Kenya, and completed operational tours in both Northern Ireland and the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1996 he returned to Middle Wallop to attend the Army Pilot’s Course, after which he was posted to 4 Regiment Army Air Corps in Wattisham as a Lynx pilot. In 2001 he left the Army to set up a corporate entertainment company; however, not wishing to lose his Army links, he took a TA Commission in the Royal Artillery. In 2003, missing the excitement of flying, he re-enlisted and was posted to 1 Regiment Army Air Corps in Gütersloh, Germany. Since being with 1 Regiment Army Air Corps he has deployed on exercise to Denmark and the Czech Republic, and was due to deploy to Iraq in the near future.  "Ollie was a true soldier in every sense of the word. He was happiest when busy, most of all when flying. Able to turn his hand to anything, he often volunteered for additional duties, whether it be deploying on exercise or rebuilding a crew room. His ability and zeal for soldiering made him an obvious choice as the Operations SNCO in 661 Squadron, a job that he conducted with imagination and true professionalism. His genuine character and excellent sense of humour were infectious to all around him, making him well respected both as a soldier and as a close friend to many in the Regiment. Despite his busy schedule Ollie still found time to study, gaining a PhD in Military History."  "Sgt Ollie Kemp was an excellent soldier, a true friend and a loving father to his two sons. He will be sorely missed by his Squadron and the Regiment, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this tragic time." 

12 Regiment Royal Artillery

Gunner Kevin Dimmock, known as "Charlie" in 9 (Plassey) Battery, was aged 26 and had recently passed the course for promotion to Lance Bombardier. He had served operationally in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, and was a firefighter during Operation Fresco in 2003. He had taken part in exercises in Canada, Germany and the UK. An extremely fit individual, he was a keen footballer and follower of West Ham, and a soldier of the highest standards. He came from Croydon and was engaged to be married.  "Charlie was a role-model soldier. Fit, professional, and a credit to his Battery, Regiment and the Royal Artillery. His keen sense of humour and willingness to have a go at anything endeared him to all who had the privilege of knowing him. Charlie's loss will leave a big hole in many people's lives, but he will be proudly remembered by all those who knew him." 

Bradley Gomersall

Gunner Bradley Gomersall

Gunner Bradley Gomersall was aged 19 and came from Barrow. Known as "Gommy", he came from Barrow and served with 58 (Eyre's) Battery within the Regiment. He had served on operations in Northern Ireland and Iraq, and had represented the Regiment at Nordic Skiing in Norway over the last two years. Along with his colleagues who died with him in the accident, he was in training for the very demanding Cambrian Patrol competition, which tests soldiers' endurance and patrolling skills. An accomplished footballer, Gommy was a fervent Arsenal supporter. He also enjoyed darts and encouraged the game enthusiastically in the Battery bar.  "Gommy was a young man with great potential - the Battery had applied for his promotion following his recent attendance on the Lance Bombardier Leadership course, where he had excelled. He was a bright and gregarious young man with a strong sense of camaraderie. His family, friends and Regiment will proudly remember Gommy."  Gunner Vincent Crain was aged 19 and came from Rochdale. Serving in 9 (Plassey) Battery, he had served in Northern Ireland and was regarded as a very bright soldier who produced excellent results of the highest standards in all areas of military life. A very good rugby player, naturally fit and fiercely competitive, he was a key member of the Battery and Regimental Tug of War teams.  "Vincent undoubtedly had a very bright career ahead of him. His bearing and commitment were exemplary. He had a "work hard, play hard" attitude and in his short time with the Battery had made lasting impressions on everyone. He will always be known as an excellent soldier and a loyal friend who was a credit to the Royal Artillery. He is proudly remembered and dearly missed by his family and many friends."  Gunner Daniel Kelly was aged 20. At his family's request, no further details will be made available.