Pilot killed after helicopter crashes into Western Isles loch

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A man has died after a helicopter ditched in a loch in the Western Isles off the coast of Scotland. It is believed the helicopter was operating on behalf of Edinburgh-based Scottish Salmon Company.

Police said the AS350 Squirrel aircraft ditched in a loch between Lochmaddy and Clachan Na Luib on North Uist on Wednesday morning. No other people are believed to have been on board the helicopter other than the man, who is believed to be 58-years-old.

Chief Inspector Ian Graham, Area Commander for the Western Isles, said: “Firstly, our thoughts are with the man’s family and the local community at this difficult time.

A AS350 Squirrel aircraft model, the same believed to have crashed. PIC Wikipedia

“Our inquiries into this are ongoing and we are liaising with other agencies, including the Air Accidents Investigation Bureau, in order to establish the full circumstances.”

A spokesman for PDG Aviation, the helicopter’s owners, told the BBC: “I am able to confirm it was one of our aircraft.

“It was out working at the time for the Scottish Salmon Company, but it was not carrying salmon.”

The spokesman said they want to work with the authorities to help in the investigation and find out exactly what happened. The man’s next of kin have been informed. The islands’ SNP MP Angus MacNeil has tweeted his condolences.

The Scottish Salmon Company’s is a sea loch salmon farming business which sells about 25,000 tonnes of “premium Scottish salmon a year to over 25 countries around the world”.