It is believed that three Coventry people including a pilot from
Baginton Airport were killed in an horrific helicopter crash that
occurred yesterday evening.
The aircraft came down near Bolton in Lancashire after encountering
severe bad weather and radioing for assistance at around 5pm yesterday
Although police will not confirm the identity of the victims until
their families have been informed they have revealed that all three
are from the Midlands.
The helicopter crashed into high moorland shortly after taking off
from Blackpool bound for Coventry Airport, sparking a massive mountain
search and rescue operation.
Chief inspector Peter Smith from Lancashire police admitted that
the rescue process was in vain.
"Two of the men are believed to have been killed on impact
and the third was airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital after we
managed to get an RAF helicopter into where the wreckage was – but
he later died.
"The weather conditions were bad and it took several hours
to locate the wreckage although fortunately the cloud lifted and we
found the downed aircraft.
"For the rest of today and the coming days there will be an
accident investigation team on the scene to determine exactly what
"The weather conditions were quite fierce last night but
they often are at this time of year in this area, and the fog is
quite dense over the moorland.
"All three men worked in the helicopter industry and were in
Mountain rescue teams were remaining at the scene of the accident
to keep public and media away from the wreckage, as the bodies
remained at the scene until this morning when the RAF helicopter could
be taken close enough in.
The single engined R44 helicopter had been chartered from Blackpool
Airport by Coventry Helicopter Centre for training use.
It is the first accident that the company has had in its six year
history and all flights were today cancelled as a mark of respect.