Inquiry told helicopter fell 'like a torpedo'

An eyewitness said a helicopter fell "like a torpedo" into the North Sea.

Loading Comments
Share
Print

The accident claimed 16 lives, including that of oil worker Raymond Doyle, 57, from Cumbernauld.

The account was given on the first day of a fatal accident inquiry almost five years after the Super Puma plunged into the water off the Aberdeenshire coast.

Lidvar Olav Hildre, a ship's mechanic, was painting a railing on board the Normand Aurora, a platform supply boat sailing to Norway.

He heard a helicopter making a "normal buzzing noise" above the ship.

"Apart from the helicopter noise I didn't hear anything else, then suddenly there was silence," he said in a statement to police that was read out at the inquiry in Aberdeen.

"This made me look into the air, as this was unusual, and I saw on the starboard side of us an oblong shape falling like a torpedo towards the sea."

He said the weather was good with clear conditions and a calm sea.

"The object was obviously a helicopter but I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It fell silently towards the sea. I don't think there was any smoke or anything coming from the helicopter at that point.

"Just before the helicopter hit the sea, or just as the helicopter hit the sea, I cannot be sure which, I saw one flame come from the helicopter.

"I then saw, quite clearly, four large black rotor blades all attached together falling out of the sky towards the sea, separate from the helicopter."

As the only eyewitness account was read out, family members in the public gallery sat silently, some wiping tears from their eyes.

Fourteen oil workers and two crew were killed in the crash on April 1, 2009.

The inquiry is expected to last about six weeks.

Transport Tragedy

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

147413

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

Yorkhill does great work and Black Friday

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You Couldn't Make This Up

Glass of wine saves my day but not my diet

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.