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Man dies in helicopter crash in the Highlands

A man has died following a helicopter crash in the Highlands.

The gyrocopter crashed into the hills between the villages of Munlochy and Avoch, on the Black Isle, at about 1pm.

Police, fire and the ambulance service attended the incident but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was the pilot and sole occupant of the gyrocopter.

His family have been made aware.

The Inverness Coastguard helicopter was also called, but was not required.

Inspectors from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) are now on their way to the scene and will be investigating the incident along with the police.

Chief Inspector Jamie Wilson, local area commander, said: “Around 12.55pm on Thursday, 12 November, 2020, emergency services attended a report of a gyrocopter having crashed in a field near Avoch.

“A man, the pilot and sole occupant of the gyrocopter, was pronounced dead at the scene. His family are aware.

“Inquiries into the incident are ongoing in conjunction with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.”

A cordon has been set up around the field, near the entrance to Rosehaugh Estate, where the aircraft landed to keep onlookers away.

A number of roads in the area were temporarily closed.

 

A fire spokeswoman said: “We were alerted at 12.55pm on Thursday, November 12 to an incident involving a helicopter between Inverness and Fortrose, Highland.

“Operations Control mobilised four appliances to the scene to assist emergency services partners.

“We had 16 firefighters attend the scene and they used foam extinguishers.

“The stop message came in at 1.53pm and our final appliance left at 4.46pm.”

An ambulance spokesman said: “We received a call today at 1256 hours to attend an incident near Avoch. We dispatched two ambulances, a manager, a community responder and the PICT team from Inverness to the scene.”

It is believed the crashed aircraft is a Cavalon, which resembles a mini-helicopter with a cockpit.

Highland Aviation, a flying club based at Dalcross Airport outside Inverness, has two gyros, but refused to confirm if it was one of theirs.

They are used for teaching and pleasure flights.

A spokesman at the club said: “We know that there has been an aircraft come down. But until we know more we can’t comment.”

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