Helicopter crash: “We don’t know whether there was a problem with the aircraft”

11:40 16 January 2013

The fallen helicopter is understood to be an AgustaWestland 109 (AW109) Power - described by its maker as a “versatile” aircraft used in commercial and military markets.

The light-weight, twin engine helicopter has eight seats and is used for executive transport, offshore and emergency medical services, as well as surveillance and patrol missions for police forces, its manufacturer AgustaWestland says.

The aircraft is certified for single pilot use and is allowed to perform assisted take-offs from elevated helipads, that is, helipads raised from the ground.

It has a large passenger cabin with two large rear windows.

With the rotors turning, the helicopter is 13.04 metres long and 3.5 metres high. Its maximum cruise speed is 177 miles (285 kilometres) per hour.

Chris Yates, an independent aviation expert, told Sky News: “Helicopters are not supposed to come within 500 feet of any structure such as a high-rise building, so we don’t know what caused the pilot to get quite so close.

“We don’t know the circumstances he was operating in at the time - whether there was a problem with the helicopter itself, whether he misread his instructions or received false instructions from air traffic control.”

AgustaWestland is an Anglo-Italian multinational helicopter design and manufacturing company, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica.

The company has offices and plants worldwide, including its main UK office in Farnborough, Hampshire and a plant in Yeovil, Somerset.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Thursday, August 27, 2015
The kaleidoscope brightened up London's Southbank (Picture by @marmaladestudio)

A giant kaleidoscope has brightened up London’s Southbank this morning on an otherwise dull and dreary day.

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Robert Andrews spent 30 years with the Met (Picture: Edward Smith)

A former Met police officer who arranged to meet a man claiming to be only 14-year-old on the gay social media app Grindr was caught out by a vigilante group calling itself The Paedophile Squad.

Thursday, August 27, 2015
She was playing with her family in Hanworth Park when she was hit by the pellet that could have killed her (Photo: Google StreetView)

The little girl was running from her mother to her grandfather in Hanworth Park when she was struck by the pellet and began bleeding. Police say she could have been killed.

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Mohammed Hossain (picture: Javier Casado)

A rickshaw driver from Plaistow sexually assaulted a young clubber after offering her a free ride home, a court has heard.

Thursday, August 27, 2015
If you recognise this man, please call  police on 101 and give them reference number 174543 (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Shocking CCTV footage has been released of a pub brawl which left a man needing stitches after he was glassed on the head.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more