Black box plea for copters

LAWYERS representing a family bereaved in the Clutha tragedy have called for all passenger-carrying helicopters to be fitted with black box recording devices.

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Legal experts from Irwin Mitchell have been instructed by John McGarrigle, whose 57-year-old father, also called John, died inside the Clutha Vaults, to represent the family as negotiations over compensation with the operator, Bond Air Services, get underway.

Ten people died when a Eurocopter EC135 police helicopter crashed into the roof of the Glasgow pub on November 29.

Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and partner in the Irwin Mitchell's specialist aviation team, said that the lack of an explanation so far for the Glasgow crash has highlighted the fact that EC135s are not currently required to be fitted with a Flight Data Recorder (FDR) or Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR).

He said: "While the Air Accident Investigation Branch has already issued a Special Bulletin on the crash, the lack of crucial FDR and CVR evidence has made things much more difficult for the investigators.

"If such equipment was fitted to the helicopter involved in the Clutha crash, investigators would have had far more information regarding the technical aspects of the flight and the actions of the pilot as well as what may be vital voice data."

Patrick McGuire, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, said: "I have made immediate applications to have salaries covered for those who have been off work. Negotiations with Bond, the helicopter operator, and other parties over compensation will begin soon. We would expect sizeable pay-outs for those whose injuries mean they couldn't return to full employment."

helen.mcardle@ heraldandtimes.co.uk

Transport Tragedy

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