UK News: Clutha bar tragedy: Glasgow inquiry says pilot 'took a chance' on low fuel - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News Clutha bar tragedy: Glasgow inquiry says pilot 'took a chance' on low fuel

18:05  30 october  2019
18:05  30 october  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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The Clutha helicopter crash that killed 10 people was caused by the pilot taking " a chance " that low fuel warnings were wrong, a fatal accident inquiry has found. Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull concluded that the tragedy could have been avoided if David Traill

Ten people were killed when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of The Clutha bar in Glasgow on 29 November 2013. The final seconds of the flight in Glasgow city centre on 29 November 2013 were described at the opening day of a hearing into the tragedy .

  Clutha bar tragedy: Glasgow inquiry says pilot 'took a chance' on low fuel © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

The pilot of a helicopter that killed 10 people when it crashed through the roof of the Clutha pub in Glasgow “took a chance” by ignoring low fuel warnings, an official inquiry has concluded.

Captain David Traill could have prevented the tragedy at the bar if he had followed the correct emergency procedures, the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the incident found.

The pilot was flying the Police Scotland helicopter when it fell onto the popular bar at 10.22pm on Friday 29 November 2013, killing all three crew members and seven customers drinking inside.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

The official investigation into the disaster, led by Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull, concluded that Captain Traill had ignored five low fuel warnings with “fatal consequences”.

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Fatal accident inquiry in Glasgow finds pilot David Traill ‘consciously took a risk’. The pilot of a helicopter that crashed into the Clutha bar in Glasgow , killing 10 people including himself, decided to ignore low fuel warnings, an inquiry has found.

Inquiry says Clutha crash pilot ' took a chance '. This begs the question why would a vastly experienced pilot agree to three further tasks if he had been confronted with an emergency fuel situation?

Attempt to land

It said the G-SPAO helicopter's engines had “flamed out” while it was still airborne after being starved of fuel, crashing despite the pilot's “valiant” attempt to land safely.

The scenario could have been averted if he had turned on at least one of the aircraft's two fuel transfer pump switches, responsible for supplying fuel from its main tank, it added.

The 32-day inquiry, which took evidence from victims' families, experts and eyewitnesses, heard that five low fuel warnings sounded during the helicopter's final flight.

Pilot David Traill (top row, left) was killed in the crash alongside nine others (Photo: PA)

Mr Turnbull said the pilot's checklist for the aircraft stated that it should be landed within 10 minutes of a fuel warning being acknowledged.

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The findings on the Clutha bar tragedy in Glasgow came in a report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. It said fuel transfer pumps were turned off and a controlled landing The report into the crash, which took place on 29 November 2013, said : the fuel pumps were switched off when

A pilot whose helicopter crashed onto the Clutha bar in Glasgow , killing 10 people, did not follow protocol and flew on despite low fuel Media captionThe police helicopter crashed on to the Clutha bar on 29 November 2013 The report into the crash, which took place on 29 November 2013, said

The sheriff described Captain Traill's failure to follow this procedure as "inexplicable", adding that he "took a chance that the low fuel warnings he received were erroneous”.

He added: "That was a conscious decision on his part. It was a decision that had fatal consequences for 10 people."

Fuel pump 'overlooked'

On the issue of the fuel pumps, he said the pilot appeared to have “overlooked” that he had already turned one of them off when he turned the second one off 11 minutes later.

The inquiry found no evidence to suggest that Captain Traill had deliberately caused the helicopter to crash and said he appeared to make a desperate attempt to land it safely after the engines failed.

It added that it was "likely” that the helicopter's fuel display had contradicted the series of low fuel warnings, which may have persuaded the pilot it was safe to continue flying.

The pilot and two crew members on the helicopter, Pc Tony Collins, 43, and Pc Kirsty Nelis, 36, were killed along with seven customers in the Clutha.

They were Gary Arthur, 48, Joe Cusker, 59, Colin Gibson, 33, Robert Jenkins, 61, John McGarrigle, 58, Samuel McGhee, 56, and Mark O'Prey, 44. Another 31 people were injured.

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