An “inspirational” pilot who worked as a personal representative for the Queen probably became disorientated in a cloud before a fatal helicopter crash, an investigation has found.
Barry Dodd, who was appointed Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire by Her Majesty in 2014, died after the helicopter he was flying crash-landed in May last year.
The 70 year old, was flying the Bell 206B helicopter from Husthwaite in North Yorkshire to Walton Wood Airfield in Pontefract when the tragedy occurred.
He was the only person on board when the accident happened near Aldborough a few minutes after take off.
An investigation has now revealed what is thought to have happened in the lead up to the crash.
Several witnesses saw Mr Dodd’s helicopter flying normally before climbing steeply into cloud.
When the aircraft emerged from the cloud, it was rotating and descending rapidly.
Fifteen seconds later it hit the ground and caught fire with Mr Dodd killed instantly.
There was no evidence of a pre-existing defect within the helicopter and investigators were told that Mr Dodd was a “good pilot”.