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Pilot who died after helicopter ditched in loch named

Peter Clunas was fatally injured when the aircraft ditched into a loch on North Uist.

Pilot: Peter Clunas worked for PDG Aviation Services.
Pilot: Peter Clunas worked for PDG Aviation Services. Trevor Martin

A pilot killed in a helicopter crash in the Western Isles has been named.

Peter Clunas was fatally injured when the aircraft ditched into a loch on the island of North Uist on Wednesday.

The family of the 59-year-old, who was from Newburgh in Aberdeenshire, described him as a "larger than life character".

In a statement, they said: "We would like to thank emergency services for all their efforts at the scene of the accident.

"Peter was a larger than life character who loved flying. He was a keen cyclist and swimmer. He will be missed by all who knew him."

Mr Clunas was the only occupant of the helicopter, which was contracted to the Scottish Salmon Company at the time of the crash.

It was left floating upside down in Loch Scadavay, between Lochmaddy and Clachan Na Luib.

A team of experts from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch have been sent to establish the cause of the incident. They are being supported by Police Scotland.

Chief inspector Ian Graham, area commander for the Western Isles, 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 enquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing and officers have been liaising with partner agencies including the AAIB, which has attended at the scene today."

Peter Clunas: Fatally injured in helicopter crash.
Peter Clunas: Fatally injured in helicopter crash.

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