Crash pilot was Gulf war hero
Thursday 15 February 1996
Flight Lieutenant Simon Burgess, 28, died when his trainer jet crashed on Tuesday on take-off from RAF Valley on Anglesey, Gwynedd.
The experienced pilot, from Humberside, was on a routine solo mission checking the weather when the aircraft went out of control. He left the aircraft by ejector seat, but it is believed that his parachute failed to open.
In the Gulf war, he was part of a two-man crew who were forced to eject from their RAF Tornado GR1 during a night bombing mission over Iraq's southern command headquarters in Basra on 24 January 1991.
An investigation revealed later that one of the aircraft's 1,000lb bombs had exploded too soon after being released, sending the Tornado out of control.
The raid was Fl Lt Burgess's second sortie over Iraq and one of the heaviest nights of bombing carried out by the British task force until then.
He and his navigator, Squadron Leader Robert Ankerson, were captured by Iraqi civilians and handed to Saddam Hussein's troops.
At the time of his capture, Fl Lt Burgess was a 23-year-old Flying Officer, and the RAF's youngest pilot in the Gulf.
He was freed on 5 March, five days after the war ended, along with eight other British prisoners of war, including the Tornado navigator Fl Lt Adrian Nichol, who had been paraded on Iraqi television in a broadcast shown to the world.
Fl Lt Burgess - nicknamed "Budgie" - was a teenager when he gained his first RAF pilot's licence and won an award for his skills in low-level flying.
He and his wife, Nicola, were married in August 1990. His parents, Terry and Ann, live in Humberston, Humberside.
The RAF has launched a full investigation into Tuesday's accident.
Valley's station commander, Group Captain David Martin Jones, said: "It is a shock to us all because he was an extremely popular young man."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...