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Tributes paid to Highlands avalanche victim

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 18, 2013

Flight Lieutenant Fran Capps served on operational tours in Iraq, the Falkland Islands, Afghanistan and Qatar

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Tributes have been paid to an Exmoor woman named as one of the three people killed in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands.

Flight Lieutenant Fran Capps, 32, originally from Dulverton, Somerset, was killed in the accident in the Cairngorms last week.

Flt Lt Capps joined the Royal Air Force in 2001 as a logistics officer and had served on operational tours in Iraq, the Falkland Islands, Afghanistan and Qatar.

Group Captain Dominic Toriati, the Station Commander at RAF Odiham, said: "Flight Lieutenant Fran Capps was an exceptionally dedicated Royal Air Force Officer and Logistician who was well known throughout the Service for her remarkable commitment, her joie de vivre and her utter professionalism.

"Fran achieved success wherever she served, most recently receiving a Chief of Joint Operations Commendation for her professional excellence, confidence and 'can-do' approach in Al Udeid. From Basrah to Kandahar to the Falkland Islands, Fran's boundless spirit and energy has shone through."

Wing Commander Ian Richardson, chairman of the RAF Mountaineering Association, said: "Fran was always smiling, always enthusiastic, always welcoming and always willing to get involved and share her love of the hills with everyone in the association and beyond. She will be sorely missed."

The trio, also including RAF Squadron Leader Rimon Than, were airlifted from the Chalamain Gap area to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on Thursday, but died of their injuries.

The third fatality is reported to be a male student with a second group of climbers.

In January four people including PhD student Tom Chesters, 28, from Devon, were killed in an avalanche in Glencoe.

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