Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2004, Flight Lieutenant Kristian Michel Alexander Gover, 33 Squadron, the Royal Air Force, was killed in a helicopter accident in Iraq at the age of thirty. He was serving as a Puma helicopter pilot when the accident occurred at Basra International Airport; two other crew members survived the accident with minor injuries.
Flight Lieutenant Gover studied modern history and politics at Cardiff University, graduated from the School of European Studies, and then joined the R.A.F. in 1996. He gave the same level of enthusiasm and skill to the pursuit of various sports as he did to his career; he was a member of both the university and R.A.F. ski teams, and participated in rugby, squash, snowboarding and running. After his death Cardiff University and his family established a memorial ward in his name, an annual bursary given to the student who excels the most at snow sports.
Group Captain Nigel Wharmby said of him: "This is a tragic accident in which a very professional and well respected pilot has lost his life. All the servicemen and women in Iraq operate with the very highest level of professionalism, none less so than our helicopter crews who perform magnificently in arduous circumstances. Kris' death has hit everyone at Basra very hard.”