Black Isle: Man dies in gyrocopter crash in Scottish Highlands, police confirm

A man has died after a light aircraft crash in the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands this afternoon.

Police Scotland confirmed that the man was the pilot and sole occupant of a gyrocopter that crashed in a field near the village of Avoch on the Moray Firth coast at around 1pm.

Emergency services attended the scene, including police, paramedics, and more than a dozen firefighters, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

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An Inverness Coastguard Helicopter was also called to the scene initially, but was later stood down.

Police Scotland said the man’s family have been informed.

Initial information from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) suggested the downed aircraft had been a helicopter, though police later confirmed that it was a gyrocopter – a smaller aircraft with similar rotor blades and a two-person cockpit.

Chief Inspector Jamie Wilson, local area commander, said: “Around 12.55pm on Thursday, 12 November, 2020, emergency services attended a report of a gyrocopter having crashed in a field near Avoch.

“A man, the pilot and sole occupant of the gyrocopter, was pronounced dead at the scene. His family are aware.

Emergency services have been called to the scene of a light aircraft crash in the Black Isle. (Credit: BBC Scotland)
Emergency services have been called to the scene of a light aircraft crash in the Black Isle. (Credit: BBC Scotland)

“Inquiries into the incident are ongoing in conjunction with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.”

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) team are on their way to the site of the crash.

An AAIB spokeswoman said: "We have been notified of an accident involving a gyrocopter near Avoch.

"A team of inspectors are on their way to commence an investigation."

An example of a gyrocopter in flight.

A police cordon has been set up around the field at the centre of the crash site, and a number of local roads were closed throughout the day.

The Highland Council told followers on Twitter that Ormonde Terrace in Avoch and the junction on the A832 with Corrochie are currently temporarily closed to traffic.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said: “We were alerted at 12.55pm on Thursday, November 12 to an incident involving a helicopter between Inverness and Fortrose, Highland.

“Operations Control mobilised four appliances to the scene to assist emergency services partners.

“We had 16 firefighters attend the scene and they used foam extinguishers.

“The stop message came in at 1.53pm and our final appliance left at 4.46pm.”

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