Clutha Report: Lawyers Of Victims Reveal Hope For Long-Awaited Answers

Legal Experts Available For Interview

20.10.2015

Specialist lawyers representing victims of the Clutha helicopter tragedy in Glasgow two years ago have revealed hopes that answers will finally be provided regarding the crash, with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) expected to reveal its findings this week.

Glasgow-based lawyers at Irwin Mitchell Scotland are acting for 17 people including injured victims and the families of those killed when the Airbus police helicopter operated by Bond crashed into the pub on November 2013.

Almost two years on, the AAIB is finally this week set to hold meetings with those affected to discuss the findings in their final report. So far only two interim reports have been released, with the second indicating that both engines on the aircraft flamed out and appeared to suffer fuel starvation.  It did not however outline the cause of the problem.

Ahead of this week’s meetings, Irwin Mitchell Scotland and colleagues in Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation Law team have revealed their hopes that the long wait for answers endured by families and victims will now finally come to an end.

As part of their work, the lawyers campaigned on how the lack of black box recording equipment on the helicopter may have hampered investigations. This led them to write to both the British and Scottish governments urging them to make it a legal requirement for the equipment to be fitted on all commercial passenger-carrying helicopters flying in UK airspace. 

It has since been confirmed that the European Aviation Safety Agency are in the process of reviewing the rules applicable to helicopters, while Airbus Helicopters’ chief executive and president Guillaume Faury also indicated earlier this year that the manufacturer will fit all of its new helicopters with cockpit data recording equipment.

Expert Opinion
“All of those we represent have faced an incredibly difficult two years, waiting for any form of information on how this terrible incident came to occur.

“The effect of this wait cannot be underestimated, as many have simply been unable to move on or come to terms with the incident as a result of the long silence on this matter.

“We truly hope that this week will mark the end of this difficult period and help all of those affected to gain an understanding of what happening on that terrible evening.”
David Bell, Associate
Expert Opinion
“There are many questions which still need to be answered following the tragedy at the Clutha Vaults. The central question is what caused both engines of a modern helicopter to flame out?

“Many of our clients are desperate to know the answer to that question after a long and painful wait. Had the helicopter been fitted with the black box equipment, the answer to this crucial question may have been known and published by the AAIB at a much earlier stage.

“We hope that the meetings between the AAIB and the victims this week and the publication of the final accident report will identify the full chain of events that led to this tragedy. With the benefit of the AAIB's findings, we hope that the victims, the industry and the authorities will fully understand what went wrong and that steps will be taken to improve helicopter safety and prevent a similar tragedy in the future.”
Jim Morris, Partner

Both David Bell of Irwin Mitchell Scotland and Jim Morris of Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation Law team will be available for interview this week in Glasgow, including around the proposed AAIB meeting dates of Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd October.