Editor, UBM

October 22, 2015

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Clutha helicopter crash – official report due to be published

The final report of the investigation into the Clutha helicopter tragedy is due to published tomorrow (Friday 23 October), with air accident investigators briefing families ahead of the publication.

Ten people died when the three tonne Eurocopter helicopter crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow in November 2013.

An earlier interim report said the engines had shut down despite there being enough fuel in the reserve tank.

Relatives of the people who died received a briefing from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) ahead of tomorrow’s final report.

Following the meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday evening, Ian O’Prey, whose son Mark died in the bar, said there was “no resolution” to the tragedy.

According to the BBC, Mr O’Prey added that there had been a few “heated moments” during the meeting but it “all calmed down”.

He said: “I don’t think I’m any further forward. The AAIB – they think it was switches that were left on – or weren’t left on.

“My main question to them was flight recorders – if they had flight recorders, it would have taken us a fraction of the time it has taken us.

“Personally I feel calmer than I did before I went in. I can’t keep shouting at the moon for the rest of my life although I feel I want to.”

Investigators are due to hold another closed meeting with bereaved relatives on Thursday and have asked families not to discuss the detailed findings until the report’s official publication on Friday.

Black box

The lack of a “black box” – a device which can record all flight data – in the helicopter has been criticised.

John McGarrigle, whose father John died in the crash, told the BBC that he believed flight data recorders should be installed in every passenger-carrying aircraft.

He said: “We wouldn’t know the full cause, but we would know half of the reasons at least and we would have learned from it.”

Jim Morris, an aviation law expert with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, said that not having a black box flight data recorder had led to more unanswered questions.



The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) issued an interim report last year which said that both engines on the helicopter “flamed out” due to a fuel supply problem.

The report, however, did not set out the cause.

The final report is due to be published on Friday 23 October.

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