A SENIOR police officer has denied that crew on board the doomed Clutha helicopter might have ignored low fuel warnings because an emergency landing would “look bad” for the force.

The Clutha Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) has previously heard how five low fuel warnings sounded on the doomed G-SPAO helicopter before it crashed through the roof of the Clutha Vaults Bar.

The inquiry today heard from Chief Inspector Colin McAllister who was the unit executive officer at the time of the Clutha Crash, in charge of a team of six Police Air Observers and a sergeant.

Read more: Day six of the inquiry hears from air traffic controller

Mr McAllister spoke about the role of an air observer and the challenges of the job.

He emphasised that the crew in a helicopter work together and the observers would speak up if there was anything in the aircraft of concern to them.

He said police officers are "empowered" to speak to helicopter pilots while in the air, although final decisions are taken by the pilot.

Donald Findlay, acting for the family of victim Robert Jenkins, questioned the witness.

He said: "We are all aware that two police officers were killed in your helicopter."

He added: "We have two police officers who we would understand would have seen these [low fuel] warnings and we would have expected them to bring them to the attention of the pilot.

Read more: Glasgow Clutha Helicopter crash tragedy FAI day five

"Somebody took the decision to ignore [the warnings]."

Mr Findlay went on to ask if the crew, PCs Kirsty Nelis and Tony Collins, might have been afraid to speak up knowing the negative publicity that would have come if the helicopter had put down somewhere like Strathclyde Park and locals had filmed police officers "running across the fields with jerrycans".

Mr McAllister said: "It wouldn't look very good for us but it wouldn't matter.

"Safety is our absolute priority."

Yesterday PC Alan Graham also gave evidence and said that in his time as a police air observer he had only seen one low fuel warning and this was in a flight with Captain Traill.

Mr Graham, 43, said: "It was with Dave Traill, just as we were landing.

"He acknowledged it and seemed quite happy. The first warning came on around 200ft as we were coming to land at the base and Dave acknowledged it and said, 'Continue'.

"The aircraft was on the ground when a low fuel two warning came on.

"He seemed quite happy that his fuel calculations were perfect for coming in to land."

Mr Graham, who has been a police officer for 20 years, described Captain Trail as "very competent" and agreed with the court that he had been "very professional."

Mr Graham had been on board the aircraft with second observer PC Niall McLaren who also gave evidence at the inquiry in Hampden Park and told the court Captain Traill was "a stickler for procedure".

Earlier the inquiry heard from Andrew Campbell, the air traffic controller working the night of the crash, November 29, 2013.

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He told the court he had no concerns about the sound of pilot David Traill's voice when he radioed in to National Air Traffic Services (NATS) at Glasgow Airport on the night of the crash.

The inquiry has previously heard that five low fuel warnings sounded in the cockpit in the minutes before the crash occurred.

But Mr Campbell said he didn't hear any background noise during communications and there was nothing on the radar to suggest any problems with the flight.

The court heard Mr Campbell found out about the crash 15 minutes after it happened when a call came in from control at Prestwick.

He said the helicopter had dropped off radar at the point it would be expected to, around 200ft, and so Mr Campbell had no reason to think it had not landed safely.

The court heard the final radio transmission from the G-SPAO helicopter.

After this there were no more communications.

Captain Traill replied to Mr Campbell at 22.19pm. He said: “One zero two five set clear to enter controlled air space VFR not above 2000.

“Police five one. Thank you.”

At the close of evidence, a notice was read to the court, agreed by all parties taking part in the inquiry, telling how Captain Traill had previously suffered from motion sickness while performing an acrobatic stunt during his time with the Royal Air Force.

This caused the pilot to have anticipatory anxiety, fearing he would vomit in the cockpit.

The court heard he visited his doctor for treatment and the condition was solved in a month.

Captain Traill had no other history of mental illness, nor any history of abusing alcohol or drugs.

As well as the crew on board, seven customers who were in the bar on Stockwell Street also lost their lives.

They were Gary Arthur, 48; Joe Cusker, 59; Colin Gibson, 33; Robert Jenkins, 61; John McGarrigle, 58; Samuel McGhee, 56; and Mark O'Prey, 44.

The inquiry, in front of Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull, continues tomorrow.