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October 23, 2015

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Clutha helicopter crash report published

A report into a helicopter that crashed into a busy Glasgow pub killing ten people has been published.

The investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) into the Eurocopter helicopter that crashed into the Clutha pub in Glasgow City Centre in 2013 found that the pilot did not follow emergency protocol and flew on despite low fuel warnings.

The report highlighted that the fuel pumps were switched off when the helicopter was somewhere between Dalkeith in Midlothian and Bothwell in South Lanarkshire and that a controlled landing wasn’t achieved for “unknown reasons”.

Regarding the low fuel levels, the first indicator was activated somewhere before Bothwell and an audible warning about the fuel levels was acknowledged by the pilor, David Traill, five times.

Guidelines state that he should have landed within 10 minutes, but he did not.

The report also stated that there were about 32 seconds between the first engine flaming out and the second, but the single engine emergency shutdown checklist was not completed in that time.

In addition, there was no evidence of any technical malfunction and there was fuel left in the tanks.

Safety recommendations

Keith Conradi, AAIB chief inspector, said the report was not about apportioning blame. However, several safety recommendations were made:

  • That the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should encourage the development and installation of a suitable lightweight and low-cost voice,data, and combined recorder
  • That the CAA should consider whether flight records should be introduced for operations where third parties are exposed to risk

The report and list of recommendations is available to read in full.

Scotland’s Crown Office has now confirmed that a fatal accident inquiry into the crash will be held as soon as possible.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The report raises a number of questions for which the families of the victims deserve answers. The Crown will now conduct further investigations into some of the complex issues raised by the AAIB report

“We will endeavour to do this as quickly as possible but there matters are challenging and the necessary expertise is restricted to a small number of specialists.”

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Ramesh A. bagi
Ramesh A. bagi

Good report. More details will be appreciated.