Inquiry begins into Shetland helicopter crash that killed two from north east

A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) has begun in Scotland into a helicopter crash that killed four people, including two men from the north east.

Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland and 57-year-old George Allison, originally from South Shields, died when the Super Puma helicopter they were travelling in ditched into the sea off Shetland.

The men had been oil workers travelling on the aircraft, which ditched on its approach to Shetland's Sumburgh Airport.

On the first day of the FAI the pilot of the helicopter, Martin Miglans, recounted how his "world ended" when the crash happened.

Mr Miglans said: "It has destroyed my head. My world ended with that crash.

"The cockpit filling with water catches me everyday."

He said he has no memory of speaking on a recording recovered from the aircraft, even after hearing it, saying he experiences "complete dissociation" from it.

Mr Miglans said: "I just remember coming out of the cloud and there being water and that is it.

Mr Miglans said he cannot remember check-height alerts prior to the crash, only the "horror and shock of seeing the sea".

The pilot said he sustained a fractured spine, now walks on crutches and will never fly again.

He also wrote that he has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder but does not want treatment or sympathy, and all he has in his life is the crash and the inquiry, which has been "hanging over" him for seven years.

The inquiry also heard from Philip Sleight, deputy chief inspector of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

He read parts of an AAIB report, published in 2016, which found the pilots failed to properly monitor the flight instruments and failed to notice their airspeed was decreasing until it was too late to avoid the Super Puma plunging into the sea.

A statement of agreed evidence confirms no mechanical fault was discovered with the helicopter, which was returning from the Borgsten Dolphin support vessel to Sumburgh Airport.