Fatal helicopter crash inquiry to proceed next week

Four people died when the Super Puma crashed near Shetland in 2013.

Fatal helicopter crash inquiry to proceed next week STV News

A fatal accident inquiry into a helicopter crash that killed four people near Shetland will proceed next week.

The Super Puma was carrying 18 people when it ditched on its approach to Sumburgh in 2013.

Passengers Sarah Darnley, Gary McCrossan, Duncan Munro and George Allison died in the incident. Twelve passengers and two crew survived.

The inquiry had been scheduled for May but was adjourned due to the coronavirus pandemic and will now begin on August 31, with the proceedings held virtually.

At a preliminary hearing held virtually on Monday, Martin Richardson QC said the Crown is prepared for the start of the inquiry next week.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report, published in 2016, found the pilots failed to properly monitor the flight instruments and failed to notice their airspeed was decreasing until it was too late to avoid the Super Puma descending into the sea.

No mechanical fault was discovered with the helicopter, which was returning from the Borgsten Dolphin support vessel to Sumburgh Airport.

AAIB representatives and survivors of the helicopter crash are among those expected to give evidence during the inquiry.

Derek Pyle, sheriff principal of Grampian, Highland and Islands, said previously that he decided the inquiry into the crash seven years ago will be held virtually so no further time is lost.

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