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mgh

Eight dead in pub helicopter crash

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This happened at 10:25 local time on a Friday Night on what is St Andrews day in Scotland. A live band was on and the pub was packed with over 100 people at the time. Worst possible timing on what was supposed to be a great way to end your week.

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Well pilot error seems unlikely, given the reported experience of the dead driver :

 

David Traill, 51, from Stenhousmuir was the aircraft's civilian pilot. A former RAF flight lieutenant with over 20 years' helicopter flying experience, his military career included deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a Chinook flight instructor before leaving the RAF to become a civilian pilot, joining Bond Air Services. He had worked with Strathclyde police and its successor, Police Scotland, for four years.

 

Police helicopters: One started to appear over Newcastle upon Tyne (where I was living at the time) in IIRC, the nineties. The justification for its deployment was abatement of serious crime. Fair enough. But it soon became a nightly wake-up call at around 12:30am as the thing was increasingly deployed for no better reason than to monitor drunks milling around the town centre. It would hover for ages over the city centre and frankly, the bloody racket it made roaring on for ages, when I was trying to sleep, every other night or so was one of the reasons we eventually moved a long way out of the city.

 

So it's worth asking why, and with due respect to the dead and injured, and after the technical inquiries have been satisfied as well as they can be, why was this helicopter in that particular location in the first place?

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This had me thinking how fickle life can be. I mean what could be more random than having a beer inside a pub and being wiped out by a helicopter?

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This had me thinking how fickle life can be. I mean what could be more random than having a beer inside a pub and being wiped out by a helicopter?

It was going to happen sooner or later, if helicopters are going to be routinely used for monitoring public order in crowded city centres.

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