Report on Colin McRae's Helicopter Crash Unveiled
The only notable conclusion reached by the AAIB investigators was that McRae did not have a valid flying license when the aforementioned incident occurred, as his previous license had expired in February 2005. The report also showed that his “valid type rating” – which enabled McRae to fly small helicopters – was also out of date, having expired more that 6 months prior to the crash.
Following the helicopter crash one-and-a-half years ago, Colin McRae, son Johnny (5 years old), Graeme Duncan and six-year-old Ben Porcelli lost their lives instantly. The AAIB investigators based their report on the flight shots made by Duncan (on his personal camcorder) during the flight.
“The helicopter probably reached 130-135 knots (150-155mph) as it descended into the valley and its groundspeed would have been about 150 knots (172.8mph) due to the tailwind. In attempting to fly in the valley at relatively low height and high speed, the pilot was undertaking a demanding manoeuvre,” said the report.
“A high-speed, low-level turning manoeuvre in the heavily wooded valley was a demanding one, which would have subjected the helicopter and its occupants to an increased risk. Descending at relatively high speed, and with a strong tailwind, accurate judgement of the turn would have been very difficult. The pilot placed his helicopter in a situation where there was a greatly reduced margin for error, or opportunity to deal with an unexpected event.”
“A sudden harsh manoeuvre could have had other implications which, singularly or in combination with the above, could have contributed to the accident. Good airmanship dictates that a pilot knows his aircraft's limitations and does not place it in a situation in which they are, or could be, exceeded,” concluded the report.
Attached to this news is the complete report issued by the AAIB.
⌕ Download attached PDF: Eurocopter AS350B2 Squirrel, G-CBHL report from the AAIB