Flt Lt. Dave Clement Longden
was an exceptional flyer and an
outstanding pilot during his 10 years with the RAF (1961 - 1971).
He flew Hunters, Provost and Gnats, he served in Bahrain,
Chivenor, Valley and Kemble/Rissington. His last job was as an
instructor at the CFS at Rissington.
He flew Hunters, Provost and Gnats, he served in Bahrain, Chivenor, Valley and Kemble/Rissington. His last job was as an instructor at the CFS at Rissington.
From 1968-1970 he was leader of the
aerobatic team at Valley. His achievements were eventually
awarded with the AFC in the 1971, Queen's Birthday Honours List.
At the time of the accident Dave was based at CFS, RAF Kemble, Little Rissington when he lost his life in an flying accident at Upper Heyford on 13th December 1971.
He was on a routine training flight over the American airbase. His was the last plane in the flypast over Upper Heyford. He did a roll and as he came up the tailfin came off and the Gnat nosedived into the runway.
It was confirmed that Richard Storr, his co-pilot, ejected sideways at 300 ft and was killed. Dave then avoided four parked F-111s and finally crashed on the side of the runway.
During the RAF investigations, apparently, they found a hairline fracture which grounded the Gnats for several months.
Additional notes and help with this entry from his brother