Couple airlifted from car stranded on icy road in the Trossachs

Duke's Pass
Duke's Pass: The couple were uninjured.Royal Navy

A couple have been airlifted to safety after their car became stranded on an icy road near to the Loch Achray hotel in Aberfoyle.

A Royal Navy helicopter rescued the man and woman, who had been guests at the hotel, after they became trapped on the Duke's Pass due to the icy conditions on Sunday morning.

Crews said the road was almost completely covered in ice.

HMS Gannet commanding officer, lieutenant commander Andy Drodge said: "We managed to get in quite close and land on the road to drop off our aircrewman chief petty officer Dave Rigg, but we had to take off again to find a more level landing area.

"Dave, along with two police officers who were already on scene, walked down the road to get to the two people from their car and in that short distance he slipped over three times.

"After circling, we found a good flat landing spot a bit further away and Dave and the police escorted the couple up the road using the grass verge for some extra grip.

"It was so icy under the aircraft that we had to remain with the rotors running to ensure the helicopter didn’t slide down the hill. Considering some of the exposed and frozen places we have to land in the mountains, this is perhaps an indication of quite how extreme the road conditions were."

Once at the helicopter however it was too icy to board by foot and the two motorists were winched into the aircraft.

Lt Drodge added: "It was extremely unusual, but we feared that having them on the ice any longer than necessary could possibly lead to injury. I have never in all my 18 years’ aviation experience winched someone into the helicopter while we were actually fully landed on the ground, that’s how bad it was.

"The pair had managed to drive quite a long way up the road but eventually they simply couldn’t get any further. And it was also too dangerous to go back. I honestly don’t quite know how on earth they managed to get as far along the road as they did."

The two motorists were taken back to Loch Achray Hotel and were uninjured.

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