Flamborough helicopter crash wreckage lifted to top of cliffs

Crew carrying helicopter wreckage Image copyright PA
Image caption The coastguard and armed forces helped with the operation to recover the wreckage

The wreckage of a helicopter which crashed off the East Yorkshire coast, killing two men, has been lifted out of the sea.

Pilot Brian Bridgman, 58, of Canterbury, and passenger John Kent, 50, of Romford, died when the aircraft crashed near Flamborough on Tuesday.

The operation to salvage the wreckage had been hampered by its location at the foot of the cliffs and bad weather.

But parts of the fuselage have now been lifted by crane to the cliff-top.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) is leading the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A crane was used to lift the wreckage from the base of the cliffs

Steven Travis, operations manager for HM Coastguard in Yorkshire, said: "The wreckage is in a very, very inaccessible location at the base of very sheer, tall cliffs, so the coastguard team were there assisting [the AAIB] with specialist work in this area.

"It's being carried out in very tragic circumstances.

"However, ourselves, the Ministry of Defence, and also Flamborough lifeboat, who assisted with dropping some crew at the bottom of the cliffs to secure the equipment, have all worked to the best of our abilities in very difficult conditions."

Image copyright Humberside Police handout
Image caption Capt Brian Bridgman (left) and John Kent died when the helicopter crashed on Tuesday afternoon

The Agusta/Bell 206 helicopter had taken off on Tuesday from an airfield near Edinburgh and was due to refuel at Humberside Airport before continuing to its destination near Retford, Nottinghamshire.

The aircraft, operated by Kent-based Heli Charter Ltd., crashed at 13:40 BST.

Mr Bridgman, who sold his engineering firm four years ago to pursue his love of flying full-time, leaves a 31-year-old daughter Katie, and a 29-year-old son, Tim.

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