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Helicopter Crash: Millionaire Escapes 2006-09-16

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Scotland.
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A Multi-Millionaire escaped death in Lanarkshire yesterday after his helicopter plummeted into a field.

Mr.Raymond Hamilton, a wealthy haulage contractor who is believed to have only recently qualified as a pilot, was flying the machine when he and a friend, a local restaurateur, crashed on their way to a golf tournament on the Mull of Kintyre.

Mr.Hamilton, who owned the 1 million GBP helicopter, and his passenger had just taken off when it plunged into a field.

The blue Robinson R44 helicopter is understood to have been registered to Mr.Hamilton earlier this summer. The accident occurred in misty conditions above Glassford, near Strathaven, Lanarkshire, yesterday morning.

Following the crash, the pair managed to drag themselves out of the wreckage and walk across a field in an attempt to raise the alarm at the nearest house.

One of the men suffered head injuries and the other was described as ‘walking wounded’ with a laceration to his hand.

They were both taken to ‘Hairmyres Hospital’ in East Kilbride, where they were held overnight for observation.

Locals told how they saw dozens of emergency vehicles rushing through the town to reach the crash site. One said last night:

‘It was a terrible thing to have happened. They were very lucky to get out alive. It must have been so frightening.’

Aviation expert Mr.Jim Ferguson said the four-seater piston engine helicopter had a good safety record.

‘It is very early to speculate about the cause of the crash,’ he said.

But we need to know what height they were flying at and what conditions they were in.

‘We also need to know if the pilot was licensed to fly in cloud and mist and if the craft was fitted with the correct instrumentation for that. They are very lucky indeed.’

A spokeswoman for National Air Traffic Control said the crash was not within controlled airspace.

A spokesman for ‘The Department of Transport Air Accident Investigations’ said:

‘We are beginning investigations into the crash and they will be on-going.’

A spokesman for ‘Strathclyde Police’ confirmed:

‘A helicopter crashed in a field, on Hamilton Road near Strathaven. Two men were injured and investigations are continuing.’

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