Inquiry into fatal air crash

An inquiry is underway into a helicopter crash in 2009 which killed 16 people.

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Helicopter 'fell like a torpedo into the sea'

A picture of the memorial service Credit: PA

An eyewitness has described the moment a helicopter fell "like a torpedo" into the North Sea, claiming 16 lives, including that of a man from Norwich.

The account was given on the first day of a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) almost five years after the Super Puma plunged into water off Aberdeenshire

Lidvar Olav Hildre, a ship's mechanic, was painting a railing on board the Normand Aurora, a platform supply boat sailing to Norway.

He heard a helicopter making a "normal buzzing noise" above the ship.

"Apart from the helicopter noise I didn't hear anything else - then suddenly there was silence," he said in a statement to police which was read out at the inquiry in Aberdeen.

"This made me look into the air, as this was unusual, and I saw on the starboard side of us an oblong shape falling like a torpedo towards the sea."

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