The RAF community in Moray were left in shock after a 49-year-old airman was killed in a road accident on the base at RAF Lossiemouth.
The serviceman died when his motorbike crashed on a road within the confines of the base – no other vehicle was involved.
Last night a Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that police were called to the base on Friday evening and that a joined military and civilian enquiry into the circumstances of the accident was now under way.
He said: “We can confirm the tragic death of a serviceman from RAF Lossiemouth in a road traffic accident.
“The deceased will be greatly missed on the station where he was an extremely popular individual. We are acutely aware that he leaves behind close family and friends, and the thoughts and prayers of our personnel go out to them at this most difficult time.”
The serviceman, who has not yet been named, was off duty at the time of the accident.
There are a large number of military personnel new to the base with the recent arrival of 6 Squadron from RAF Leuchars – a further two squadrons are due to transfer to Moray.
Thousands of people from the local community have a close affinity with the air base and its personnel, many of them having fought to retain RAF Lossiemouth when it was threatened with closure in 2011.
The community also mourned the deaths of three airmen killed in an air accident over the Moray Firth in 2012.
Last night a spokesman for the Lossiemouth Community Council said: “We were all so sad to learn of the death of an airman on the base under such tragic circumstances this week.
“Our community has grown to love and respect the men and women who serve and have served at RAF Lossiemouth over the years, when tragedy strikes them it strikes the entire community.
“We would like to extend our condolences to family and friends of the airman concerned.”