Lawyers send claim letter to Bond over Glasgow EC135 crash

Lawyers send claim letter to Bond over Glasgow EC135 crash

13-Jan-2014 Source: Irwin Mitchell

Specialist aviation lawyers representing persons injured and  bereaved as a result of the Clutha helicopter crash in Glasgow have formally launched their fight for justice in relation to the tragedy and outlined their hopes that the move will lead to increased efforts to review and improve flight safety.

Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation Law team, which is ranked by independent legal directories as one of the leading practices of its kind in the UK and has an office in Glasgow, is now using its expertise to help a number of the Clutha victims achieve justice for their terrible losses, grief and injuries that were caused by the astonishing disaster on November 29th, in which a total of ten people lost their lives.

Now, after sending a letter of claim to the legal representatives of the Bond Aviation Group – the owner and operator of the helicopter involved – on behalf of its clients, the expert lawyers are reiterating their calls for a full examination of what can be done to improve flight safety.

Elaine Russell Our clients have faced a difficult and traumatic time across the Christmas period after losing loved ones in The Clutha tragedy and we continue to eagerly await further information from the AAIB regarding the progress of its investigations.

“However, we have now issued a letter of claim to Bond Aviation Group which, as the owner and operator of the aircraft, is legally liable for the deaths of the police passengers and the ground victims in the pub, as well as those who were injured in the pub, under a legal concept known as strict liability. 

“The response from the Glasgow community has been heart-warming and there are many fundraising efforts taking place to help those affected. We are absolutely determined to ensure that those who lost relatives in this crash not only get the financial support they may need following the incident, but also the answers they are desperately seeking in relation to the crash.”

As well as representing those affected by The Clutha crash, Irwin Mitchell’s experts also act for victims and the families of those killed in Eurocopter crashes off the coast of Shetland in August and in the North Sea in October 2012 and the helicopter crash in London in January 2013.

Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and Partner at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in aviation law and represents victims of air accidents across the world, said this series of serious helicopter accidents in UK airspace (the latest being the recent fatal US military helicopter crash in Norfolk), as well as the inquiry being held in Aberdeen in relation to the Super Puma crash in 2009, means that debate around the general issue of helicopter safety has never been greater.

Jim Morris Discussion around helicopter safety simply cannot be ignored at the moment and this shows an increasing sense among the media and the general public that something needs to be done to review and identify potential ways to make improvements in safety.

“As part of our commitment to achieve justice for our clients, we will do everything we can to ensure that helicopter safety is a priority. An important factor in this is the need for review and amendment of helicopter regulations. This includes a change in legislation to require all commercial passenger carrying helicopters to be fitted with Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) equipment. 

“Such tools can provide crucial evidence during accident investigation and the fact that some helicopters, such as the EC135 which crashed in Glasgow, do not have them fitted is shocking when considering the importance of the real time data that such equipment can provide to the accident investigators, to provide answers and improve flight safety. 

“Too many people have lost their lives or suffered serious injuries as a result of helicopter crashes in the past five years and this simply cannot be allowed to continue any longer.”

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