Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man helicopter crash: TT races pilot 'fought gusty conditions'

Matthew Chapman Image copyright Isle of Man Constabulary
Image caption Matthew Chapman flew to the island during last year's TT races

A helicopter pilot killed in a crash on the Isle of Man struggled to regain control in gusty conditions, an accident report has found.

Matthew Chapman, from Lincolnshire, was the only person on board when the helicopter crashed during the TT Festival on 6 June last year.

The 48-year-old had dropped off two passengers in the Baldwin Valley shortly before the accident.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said he battled "turbulent conditions".

The helicopter crashed after lifting off for the return journey, facing gusts of 46 knots (53 mph), the AAIB said.

It began swinging from side to side before plunging to the ground.

Image caption The A 18 Mountain Road was closed for several hours after the helicopter crash

The impact "was not survivable for the pilot", the report said.

Businessman Mr Chapman, of Louth, had 786 hours of flying experience, including 126 on helicopters.

An inquest heard he had set off from Milton Keynes at about 06:00 BST with two passengers on board the Bell Jetranger aircraft.

After travelling to the island, he dropped both of them off at the Creg Ny Baa - a popular viewing area for the annual TT races.

The helicopter crashed at about 09:00 BST after lifting off for the return journey. Mr Chapman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The AAIB concluded that appropriate training in mountain flying techniques and the associated hazards "could have assisted the pilot in executing the flight successfully".

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