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Aviation Industry ‘Must Follow Clutha Helicopter Manufacturer’s Lead On Black Boxes’

Lawyers Acting For Victims Of Tragedy Welcome Airbus Helicopters’ Safety Announcement


Specialist lawyers representing victims of the Clutha helicopter tragedy in Glasgow have urged the aviation industry as a whole to follow Airbus Helicopters' lead on flight safety, after the operator committed to installing vital black box recording equipment to all of its aircraft.

Irwin Mitchell Scotland is representing 17 people including injured victims and the families of those who died when a Bond-operated police helicopter, manufactured by Airbus Helicopters, crashed into the Clutha pub on 29 November 2013. While updates from the Air Accident Investigation Branch have confirmed both engines appeared to suffer fuel starvation, a full accident report is yet to be released in relation to the tragedy.

Irwin Mitchell Scotland and colleagues in Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation Law team have long-held concerns that the lack of black box recording equipment on the helicopter may have hampered investigations. 

As the current aviation regulations did not require the Clutha helicopter to be fitted with this crucial equipment, since 10 December 2013 the aviation team have repeatedly called for a review of laws and have written to the English and Scottish governments, with the aim of achieving a change in the regulations that will ensure that all commercial passenger-carrying helicopters flying in UK airspace are required to be fitted with such devices.

The decision of the president and chief executive of Airbus Helicopters, Guillaume Faury, to fit all of the company’s helicopters with cockpit voice recording and flight data recording equipment as standard, is a very positive development that should assist future air accident investigations involving Airbus helicopters.

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