AN INQUEST has been opened into the death of Chris Waddington, the Falklands War veteran who was tragically killed in a plane crash in Herefordshire.

The Parachute Regiment veteran, who served for more than 20 years in the British Armed Forces, was killed five days before his 60th birthday when the plane he was flying hit the ground at Shobdon Airfield, near Leominster.

An inquest into his death was formally opened at Herefordshire Coroners Court on Friday, and adjourned so evidence could be gathered.

Herefordshire's assistant coroner Roland Wooderson said Christopher Charles Waddington, 59 and of Yarpole in North Herefordshire, died in the crash on Friday, August 26.


Emergency services were called to the airfield shortly after 10am, but West Midlands Ambulance Service said despite the best efforts of medics, nothing could be done to save him.

A statement from coroners officer Margaret Oliver was read in court, saying the body was identified from a picture and video.

A picture was taken prior to take off, the statement said, and there was also a video of the plane performing aerobatics before the crash.

Hereford Times: West Mercia Police said it was called to Shobdon Airfield shortly after 10am. Picture: SWNSWest Mercia Police said it was called to Shobdon Airfield shortly after 10am. Picture: SWNS

Mr Waddington, who worked as a security consultant, had been flying the single-seat light aircraft and for reasons not currently known, lost control and hit the ground.

An Air Accident Investigations Branch probe is currently underway, with staff attending the crash site in the hours after the crash.

The inquest was adjourned so further information could be obtained, Mr Wooderson said, including the circumstances of the plane crashing.

A date of November 21 for the inquest was propsoed, but he warned that this could change.


Hero pilot Mr Waddington, who lived in Herefordshire, recently appeared in a BBC TV show to mark 40 years since the Falklands War.

Our Falklands War: A Frontline Story was the story of 10 ordinary men who fought alongside each other on the front line.

Mr Waddington, 59, was among them. He was a second lieutenant at the time of the war in 1982, the most junior officer rank.

He had only recently finished his training at Sandhurst when, at the age of 19, he was called to lead a platoon of 20 men into the first battle of the Falklands War.

He was nicknamed ‘Boy Wonder’ during the Falklands War in 1982 such was his enthusiasm for his job.