Air Engineer Gary Nicholson
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is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence can
confirm the death of Master Engineer Gary Nicholson, Royal Air
Force, following the loss
of an RAF C-130K Hercules aircraft over Iraq on 30 January
2005. Aged 42 and divorced, he was an Air Engineer serving
with 47 Squadron at RAF Lyneham.
Nicholson 'Gary Nic' was born in Hull on 12 March 1962.
He joined the RAF on 13 April 1982 and undertook training
as an Air Engineer at RAF Finningley on 15 September
1982. He was awarded his Air Engineer brevet on 15 August
1983 and was posted to RAF Lyneham to join the Hercules
started his long and distinguished career on the Hercules
on 47 Sqn on 14 April 1984. He was then posted to 24
Sqn in July 1987 followed by a return to 47 Sqn on 2
July 1990. Gary then became an instructor in the simulator
on 12 October 1994 and again returned to 47 Sqn for
the third time in September 2002. During his flying
career Gary amassed a total of 6400 hours, the vast
majority of which was on the Hercules
Nic saw action in many theatres over his 23 years of
service. He has a campaign medal and a General Service
Medal for Operation Granby (Iraq 1991), NATO
and UN Service medals for the Balkans 1993 and 1994
and an Operational Service Medal for the recent operations
Nic was known and loved by all who worked with him.
It has been commented once or twice in the past that
you could hear him before you could see him; seeing
him was not a problem either as he was a giant of a
man, with a giant heart and ebullient nature. Indeed,
Gary was the embodiment of a Master Air Engineer and
in the finest traditions of the service, always put
the interests of his subordinates before himself. Gary
leaves behind two sons who he loved and nurtured with
a tenderness rarely seen. He will be sorely missed.
media are asked to respect the family's privacy at this
very difficult time.
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