Clutha Bar helicopter was returning from Midlothian

An AAIB Bulletin into the Clutha helicopter crash has revealed its final route.  Pic: Robert Perry
An AAIB Bulletin into the Clutha helicopter crash has revealed its final route. Pic: Robert Perry
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THE Police helicopter which crashed into the Clutha Bar in Glasgow had been returning from an incident in Dalkeith.

In a special bulletin, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) revealed the final route of the helicopter on the night of November 29.

The helicopter had been over Dalkeith for ten minutes providing support for an incident before heading back to Glasgow.

Police Scotland said they were currently unable to disclose why the helicopter had been called to Midlothian.

Investigators said they had so far found no initial evidence of engine or gearbox failure in their probe into the police helicopter crash in Glasgow which claimed nine lives.

The AAIB bulletin said “all significant components were present” at the time the two-engined Eurocopter EC135 helicopter crashed through the roof of The Clutha Bar on the night of November 29.

The report went on: “Initial assessment provided no evidence of major mechanical disruption of either engine and indicated that the main rotor gearbox was capable of providing drive from the No 2 engine turbine to the main rotor and to the fenestron drive shaft.”

The pilot of the helicopter David Traill, 51, and his two passengers - police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43 - were killed in the crash as were six people inside the pub.

The AAIB report today said that the helicopter had left Glasgow City Heliport at 8.45pm on the Friday of the crash and had flown, to start with, to a location on the south side of Glasgow city centre, staying there for about 30 minutes at a height of 1,000ft above sea level.

In had then gone about 40 miles east to Dalkeith in Midlothian, staying there for a further 10 minutes before returning to Glasgow.

At 10.18pm the pilot had requested clearance from air traffic controllers to re-enter the Glasgow control zone and return to the heliport. This had been approved and no further radio transmissions from the pilot were received.

The AAIB added that radar contact with the helicopter was lost at 10.22pm.

The report went on: “Around this time, the helicopter was seen and heard by a witness who described hearing a noise like a loud `msifiring car’, followed by silence.

“He then saw the helicopter descend rapidly. It crashed through the roof of The Clutha Bar, a single-storey building on Stockwell Street in central Glasgow.

“The three occupants of the helicopter and six people in, or adjacent to, the bar were fatally injured. Thirty two other people suffered injuries, 12 seriously.”