A PILOT has told of fuel issues with the Clutha crash helicopter the month before its final fatal flight.

Stephen Kitchen, a former Royal Navy pilot who now flies for Police Scotland and the air ambulance, gave evidence at a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the incident on November 29. 2013.

He was questioned by Gordon Lamont QC, for the Crown, about the events of October 10, 2013.

The pilot had flown helictoper G-SPAO on a routine flight to Aberdeen that day.


Issues with Clutha helicopter fuel systems 'known for 10 years'

The 52-year-old detailed how an issue with the number one supply tank became apparent and the helicopter had to be shut down then restarted.

The court was also shown an email dated September 20, 2013, from Captain Craig Trott, who gave evidence to the court last week.

It said the helicopter had shown various irregular fuel levels, refuelling to 310kg in the main tank then, after two hours, showing 295kg.

On take off, the main tank increased to 320kg.

The court has previously heard about issues with fuel readings on EC135 helicopters, the same model as G-SPAO.

The inquiry has been told about irregular fuel readings being given when tiny amounts of water have got into the fuel level sensors.

On the night of its final flight, Captain David Traill, 51, flew with Police Scotland air observers PC Tony Collins, 43 and PC Kirsty Nelis, 36, to East Lothian before travelling to Uddingston, Bothwell and Bargeddie.


Engineer warned of 'accident waiting to happen' before Clutha crash

It is known that the helicopter gave out five low fuel warnings before it crashed. A low fuel warning should compel a pilot to land within 10 minutes.

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