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Inquiry into Shetland helicopter crash tragedy which killed a Highland man delayed due to coronavirus pandemic

By Staff Reporter

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Gary McCrossan
Gary McCrossan

A fatal accident inquiry into a helicopter crash which killed four people including an Inverness man will be delayed due to coronavirus measures.

Oil rig worker Gary McCrossan (59) was among 18 passengers on board a Super Puma which crashed off Shetland in 2013.

The father-of-two, of Westhill, was a contractor for Stork Technical Services.

The inquiry was due to start in Inverness in May but has now been adjourned in accordance with Scottish and UK government guidance on the pandemic.

Derek Pyle, Sheriff Principal of Grampian, Highland and Islands, said a new date will be set as early as is possible.

"In relation to this inquiry, the safety of all involved must be the paramount consideration of the court", he said.

"Once normal court business resumes, a date will be sought as early as is possible to continue the inquiry hearings.

"Meantime, the parties involved have been urged to continue to agree evidence where appropriate as far as they can while working remotely."

The other passengers who died were Sarah Darnley (45) of Elgin, Duncan Munro (46) of Bishop Auckland, and George Allison (57) of Winchester.

A 2016 report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch found that the helicopter’s flight instruments, which were being used to land due to cloud, were not monitored effectively, allowing it to enter "a critically low and unrecoverable energy state".

Attempts to recover were too late. The report also said the impact with the water had been "survivable".

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