RAF Leuchars


The crash happened during a routine training flight at Glen Kinglas in Argyll, Scotland.  Pilot Flight Lieutenant Thompson, 27, was from the Glasgow area.

Weapon Systems Officer Flight Lieutenant Morton, 43, was from Fife.

Pilot Flight Lieutenant Thompson's family said: "Kenneth is from a military family background. He was passionate about his career in the RAF, his flying and he loved life. We, the family, have lost our son and brother, but take some comfort from the fact that he died doing what he loved - flying. Our thoughts are also with the family of his navigator, friend and colleague at this most difficult time for us all." Weapon Systems Officer Flight Lieutenant Morton's family said: "Beloved father and husband, son, brother and son-in-law. Respected by all who worked with him. Our thoughts are with Kenny's family at this terrible time."

Air Commodore R J Atkinson, Air Officer Scotland and Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Leuchars, said:

"Flight Lieutenant Nige Morton was a wonderful, energetic and professional member of our team. Constantly enthusiastic and steeped in experience he has been a highly valued member of his squadron and RAF Leuchars. Well known by everyone, Nige will be sorely missed; my thoughts are with his wife and son at this desperate time. "Flight Lieutenant Kenny Thompson was a bright and effervescent young man with a zest for life. I shall remember him for his constant smile and inspirational attitude that brought much happiness to all; he will be dearly missed by all who have known him. My thoughts are with his family." Wing Commander David Hazell, Officer Commanding 43(Fighter) Squadron, said:

"Kenny was a young pilot with an extremely bright future ahead of him. He was enthusiastic about everything in life; in particular he had an enormous thirst for flying. His character was defined by his tremendous and infectious enthusiasm. Kenny was a very popular member of the squadron. "Nige was one of the most experienced navigators on the Tornado F3 Force with nearly 3,000 hours on the aircraft. His professionalism and skill were matched only by his generosity of spirit and his commitment to flying. Nige was greatly respected throughout the fast jet community. He set the highest standards, putting his heart and soul into everything he did. "Their deaths are a huge loss to the squadron and the Tornado F3 Force as a whole; however, it is nothing compared to that suffered by their families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this dreadful time." Squadron Leader Wayne Smith, Kenny and Nige's Flight Commander on 43(Fighter) Squadron, said: "Nige was a 'Professional Aviator' in title and this totally defined him. A veteran of operations in Bosnia and Iraq, Nige was a consummate professional, a talented Weapon Systems Officer and a good friend. He was pivotal to squadron flying operations. He single-handedly ran the flying programme and manning. "He was a superb instructor, supervisor and font of technical knowledge. Nige was so approachable, which made him such a great man on the Tornado F3 Force. I will miss Nige tremendously, not just in squadron daily life, but also in his other love on the golf course. Our thoughts are with his wife and son at this terribly sad time.

"Kenny was the epitome of a fighter pilot and at the heart of 43(Fighter) Squadron. He had a close association with the squadron long before becoming one of its pilots, during his university days. No-one was more enthusiastic, professional and committed to flying than he. His great attitude was contagious. "Flying was what defined Kenny and when he wasn’t in a Tornado F3 he would be flying his own aircraft around Scotland. Trips to Tiree with Kenny in his plane were the talk of the summer at Leuchars. It is with some consolation that his squadron friends know that he died doing what he enjoyed the most; flying a fast jet on a beautiful summer's day in the West of Scotland. Kenny will be sorely missed. "The squadron and anyone who ever met Kenny will always remember his humour, professionalism and dedication to flying, which was never a job but a way of life to him." Flt Lt Lownds, 43 (Fighter) Squadron Navigator said:

‘Kenny always had a smile on his face and a cheery word to pass. Never dour or down, he treated every flying day as new and poured his heart and soul into his Squadron and his flying. A truly conscientious and gifted fighter pilot, who will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by the whole of the F3 force’. ‘Nige a truly gentleman of aviation. He was always the person you asked first for help and he would always come through for you. Thoughts are with Romana and little Rohan.’ Flt Lt Gerry McConnach, 43 (Fighter) Squadron Navigator said: ‘Nige and Kenny were two of the most genuine and warm-hearted people one could ever hope to work with. Words cannot express how sorely they will be missed’. Officer Commanding 12 Air Experience Flight – Squadron Leader Vincent Butler said: ‘It is with great sadness that I and all my volunteer Air Experience pilots learn of the death of Kenny Thomson. Kenny flew with the flight as an holding officer, leaving to complete his training, returning to fly with the Air Experience Flight once he had become operational. An enthusiastic aviator, he always gave 100% to the cadets he flew with and was well respected by cadets and staff pilots. He will be sadly missed’. ‘In the time Kenny spent with our Squadron we always welcomed his infectious smile. The happiest, friendliest man we know. He was always keen to get involved and represent our Squadron. We were so happy that Kenny stayed close to us at 43 Squadron and never lost his ties with the University Air Squadron. For those who were lucky to fly with him they received his unending encouragement and excellent tutelage. Always reliable. Always there.’ Having known Kenny for some years now both personally and through flying training I cannot think of a nicer, more sincere and genuine guy than he. His work on 12 Air Experience Flight, on top of his 43 Squadron commitments, were a tribute to this. I can only say that I will sorely miss him and that he was doing something he loved and was passionate about. All the best mate. Flt Lt Kenny Thompson - The 43(F)Sqn Groundcrew perspective: "Having asked the majority of groundcrew available, it became immediately obvious, the type of individual he was and the impact the unfortunate event has had on everyone. He was extremely down to earth, taking every opportunity to see how the groundcrew were doing. These were the words most used to describe him:- Approachable, welcoming, friendly, sociable, gracious. Everyone had their own story to tell, which would in retrospect, paint the perfect picture of him. Totally respected as an officer and as a person, he will be sorely missed"