Clutha families to receive accident report

A second group of families of those killed and injured in the Clutha helicopter crash will receive the final report on its causes, nearly two years after 10 people died in the tragedy.
The scene of the Clutha helicopter crash. Picture: PAThe scene of the Clutha helicopter crash. Picture: PA
The scene of the Clutha helicopter crash. Picture: PA

Dozens of people were enjoying a night out at the Glasgow pub on November 29 2013 when a police helicopter returning to its base on the banks of the River Clyde crashed through the roof.

John McGarrigle, who lost his father, John, and Ian O’Prey, who lost his son Mark, were among the first group of families that attended an Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) briefing on its final report ahead of the official publication on Friday.

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They were told to keep the contents of the report confidential as more families have been invited to a briefing this morning. But they could not contain their anger at the contents of the report, which they felt raises more questions than it answers.

Mr McGarrigle said last night: “I’m furious. I came here very optimistic, very hopeful knowing that the AAIB are very impartial, but I just feel really let down by those guys because these are the people that we came here tonight to get answers off of and we never got any answers.

“I know what caused the crash but I cannot say.”

He said the public would understand why he was so angry when the report was published and then the matter will be in the hands of the lawyers.

Mr McGarrigle also said the report did not apportion blame to anyone and did not bring him closer to justice.

Ian O’Prey, whose son Mark died in the bar, told STV News: “The pilot wasn’t at fault, that’s for certain.

“There were switches left on, or off, and the engine had fuel starvation, that’s basically it.”

He said there was no explanation why.

“We don’t know, we honestly don’t know,” he said.

Anne-Marie Kennedy, who was working behind the bar and was trapped in the wreckage, said: “It’s shown me that they should have black boxes for defo, it’s shown me the need for other regulation, but other than that nothing

“I’m satisfied with the way the night went. I believe that AAIB has done everything in their power.

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Jim Morris, partner at Irwin Mitchell solicitors and an expert in aviation law, said: “Unfortunately, in my view, due to the lack of requirement to fit a black box flight data recorder, we now have almost more unanswered questions.”

He added: “I can confirm that human factors we examined in detail, but there are a lot of unanswered questions in relation to the human factors as well.”

AAIB said in an interim report published last year that both engines on the aircraft failed, but the cause was not outlined.

The report said the engines had ‘’flamed out’’ before the helicopter crashed into the packed bar at 10.22pm, killing the pilot and two police constables on board as well as seven people in the pub.