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Investigation Called As Britons Die In Helicopter Incident In Russia

Lawyers Say Authorities Should Provide Prompt Answers After Fishing Trip Tragedy


By Dave Grimshaw

Expert aviation lawyers have called for an immediate investigation after two Britons died in an accident involving a helicopter while on a fishing trip in Russia.

It is believed the men along with a Russian guide had just been dropped off by the helicopter, before it crashed back on them, hitting the men with its rotor blades. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation also reports that the pilot was also injured in the incident which happened on Sunday morning (21 July 2013).

The incident happened as the five-seater Eurocopter EC-120 helicopter was trying to take off, mid-morning around 100 miles south-east of the city of Murmansk. The region is becoming more popular with tourists who go on the luxury tours to fish in the salmon-rich rivers.

The Irwin Mitchell aviation law team has significant experience in representing persons injured and the families of those killed in helicopter and fixed wing air accidents around the world.

Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and expert aviation lawyer, is currently representing the victims of other Eurocopter accidents, including the passengers in the Eurocopter Super Puma that ditched into the North Sea off Scotland in October of last year. He said: “This is a tragic incident and it is crucial that the investigations identify what went wrong as soon as possible to both provide answers to the devastated families, and enable the aviation community to learn from what has happened to prevent anything similar from happening again.

“Very little is known about what happened at this stage and a full analysis of the incident needs to be carried so that we can learn why the helicopter lost control so shortly after take off. The Russian authorities will have to look at all factors including the pilots actions and whether there was a mechanical problem with the helicopter. 

"It is essential that the authorities promptly publish a preliminary report so that Eurocopter EC-120 operators in Russia and around the world can learn lessons from this tragic accident to improve flight safety."

The Guardian newspaper has reported that there have been at least 10 helicopter crashes in Russia this year, including an accident on 2 July in the Siberian region of Yakutia that killed 24 people.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Air Accident cases.