Local man among 13 dead in helicopter crash

Iain Start died in the helicopter crash in Norway on Friday
Iain Start died in the helicopter crash in Norway on Friday

A 41-year-old man from Laurencekirk was among 13 people killed in a helicopter crash in Norway.

Iain Stuart, who was working for oilfield services company Halliburton died when the helicopter crashed on Friday.

The Super Puma was carrying two crew and 11 passengers from the North Sea Gullfaks B oil field, around 74 miles (120 kilometres) off the Norwegian coast when it crashed en route to Flesland Airport in Bergen on Friday.

The family of Iain Stuart said they were “devastated” at the loss and described Iain as a “devoted father” and “loving husband”

Police Scotland issued a statement on behalf of the family of Mr Iain Stuart: “We as a family are devastated at the loss of Iain in Friday’s tragic helicopter crash in Norway.

“Iain was a loving husband and devoted father to his two children and as a family we are heartbroken. He was a caring son, brother, uncle and friend to many.”

“We are appreciative of all the messages of support and kind thoughts.”

“We now ask, as a family, that we are allowed some privacy at this difficult and sad time to grieve and come to terms with our loss.”

Following confirmation from Police Scotland that a Scottish national was among those killed in the Super Puma crash in Norway on Friday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government has learned that Iain Stuart from Aberdeenshire was among those who died in the Super Puma crash on Friday near the city of Bergen, Norway.

“An incident such as this is felt deeply throughout the oil and gas sector especially those who work round the clock in the North Sea.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Iain Stuart, and of the other 12 people who were killed in this tragic accident.

“We will remain in contact with the Foreign Commonwealth Office, who are liaising with Police Scotland to offer help and support to the family at this sad time.”

Tributes were paid to Mr Stuart who was a member of Brechin Golf Club.

The flag at the Angus Golf Club flew at half mast over the weekend with members in shock over the incident.

The crash has sparked safety concerns as it emerged the aircraft had to return to base twice in the days before the tragedy after a warning light was triggered.

Helicopter operator CHC confirmed that the Super Puma had to turn back to Flesland Airport in Bergen last Tuesday when the pilot spotted the indication light.

A petition to “Remove the Airbus 225 Super Puma from service” was started by David Winder.

It has, so far received support from over 19,000 people.