Pilot who died in North Uist crash from Aberdeenshire

  • Published
Peter ClunasImage source, Peter Clunas Family
Image caption,
Peter Clunas family said he was a larger than life character

A pilot who died after his helicopter crashed into a loch in North Uist was from Newburgh in Aberdeenshire, police have said.

Peter Clunas, 59, was killed when his aircraft went into Loch Scadavay while he was carrying out work at a fish farm on Wednesday.

His family has thanked the emergency services for their efforts at the scene of the accident.

Mr Clunas' family said he was a larger than life character who loved flying.

In a statement, his family said: "He will be missed by all who knew him."

He leaves a partner Angela and two sons Alasdair and Bob from his previous marriage to Jane.

Mr Clunas was the sole occupant of the helicopter.

Image caption,
The accident happened in North Uist on Wednesday morning

Western Isles area police commander Ch Insp Ian Graham said: "Our thoughts remain with Mr Clunas's family and friends at this difficult time, as well as the local community on North Uist.

"I would also take the opportunity to express our thanks to the members of the public who assisted at the scene during this tragic incident.

"Our inquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing and officers have been liaising with partner agencies, including the Air Accident Investigation Branch which has attended at the scene today."

A boss at Mr Clunas' employers, helicopter firm PDG Aviation Services, has told of the company's "great sadness" at the death of one of its pilots in a crash on Wednesday.

Jerry Francis, chief executive of Inverness-based PDG, said the company's deepest sympathies were with the pilot's family.

In a statement, Mr Francis said: "It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of one of our pilots following the crash of an AS350B2 helicopter whilst undertaking load lifting tasking yesterday.

"The incident occurred in North Uist at about 10:15.

"We are working closely and tirelessly with the authorities to identify the cause of the incident. Our deepest sympathy is with the pilot's family and friends at this difficult time."