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Buck
09-15-2007, 02:53 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/15/ncopter115.xml


Colin McRae feared dead in helicopter crash

By Brendan Montague and Jasper Copping
Last Updated: 8:29pm BST 15/09/2007


Colin McRae, the former world rally driving champion, is feared dead in a helicopter crash in Scotland.

The aircraft burst into flames after it came down in woodland near Lanark, at around 4.10pm, killing everyone on board.

Jean-Eric Freudiger, McRae's agent, last night told The Sunday Telegraph he had spoken to the driver's brother and that he had confirmed the former champion had been piloting the Squirrel aircraft.

Speaking from his home in Switzerland, Mr Freudiger said he was still in shock and fighting back tears as he said he could not reach Mr McRae's wife, Alison.

He added: "I have heard that it was his aircraft. He was in the helicopter. I cannot believe it was a helicopter pilot error because as my best friend and the godfather of my daughter I know he was a very safe pilot.

"We have been close business partners and friends for seven years. He is the best person I have ever met in my life. I have to try and understand what I have just been told."

The aircraft, which was registered to McRae, came down in Jervis Wood, around a mile from Mr McRae's home at Bellefield Road in Lanark.

The 39-year-old McRae who has two children, Hollie and Johnny became Britain's first World Rally Champion in 1995 and was still competing in the sport.

His father, Jimmy, was a five-time British rally champion, while his younger brother, Alister, is also a professional driver. Mr McRae has said he uses his helicopter, as well as a six-seater jet, to travel between his homes in Scotland, Monaco and Majorca.

He once told reporters: "I don't have things for show. I'm not brash and I'm not on an ego trip. If I buy something it is because I genuinely want or need it."

Squirrel helicopters can carry up to six people and police were last night unable to say how many people were on board.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: "There is at least one dead and no one survived the crash. We don't yet know how many people were on board."

The crash was witnessed by a farmer. The aircraft was so badly damaged by fire that police could not initially identify what type it was.

The Scottish Ambulance Service confirmed that its own helicopter had been despatched to the scene along with three ambulance crews.

Strathclyde Fire Brigade also sent units to the scene.

The RAF spokesman added that its helicopter was on stand-by to assist. Police have cordoned off the area and the Air Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.

A spokesman for the British Airports Authority said the helicopter did not come from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports.

Four people were killed when a Squirrel helicopter crashed in Cambridgeshire, earlier this year.

Silock
09-15-2007, 03:12 PM
That would royally suck. McRae was a badass.

Buck
09-15-2007, 03:32 PM
I guess he and his 5 year old son were killed in the helicopter crash.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article2461339.ece

Silock
09-15-2007, 03:45 PM
Yeah, looks like it's confirmed. Wasn't even racing. Sucks to go out like that.

mikey23545
09-15-2007, 06:34 PM
Never fly an aircraft called a Squirrel.