Colin McRae, Not Licensed to Fly the Helicopter That Killed Him

In September 2007, the motorsports world lost an icon. Rally driver Colin McRae, together with his five year-old son and two other passengers, were killed in a helicopter crash that took place in Jerviswood, Lanark, half a mile from the family's home.

The inquiry that followed the crash came to some conclusions that only now are beginning to come into the spotlight. According to BBC, citing the report filed by the Civil Aviation Authority, McRae, who was flying the Squirrel helicopter, was doing so illegally.

Apparently, the rally driver, who knew how to operate the aircraft, paid little attention to renewing his license. According to Civil Aviation Authority's Raymond Elgy, however, McRae was neither licensed, nor qualified to get behind the helm of the helicopter.

McRae's five-year flying license had expired two years prior to the crash, in 2005, while his "valid type rating" expired a few months before, in March 2007.

"There was no provision for him to be flying that machine at that time. It was illegal for him to do so. He could only have flown the machine with another qualified pilot as an examiner for the purposes of renewing his validation," Elgy was quoted as saying by The Daily Record.

The revelations coming as the results of the McRae crash inquiry are becoming public put an extra strain on the authorities, who admit to be lacking the resources they need to check the licenses. As a result of that crash, they say, during the proficiency checks, the licenses of the pilots are also checked, mostly of those who used their flying machines to transport passengers.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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