McRae feared dead in aircraft crash
5 hours ago [LINK]
Rally driver Colin McRae is feared dead, along with three others, in a helicopter crash near his country home, police have confirmed.
Strathclyde Police said that the 39-year-old star was believed to be on board the aircraft, which crashed at Jerviswood, near Lanark, at about 4.10pm on Saturday.
There were four people on board, but no formal identifications have taken place yet. The force confirmed there were no survivors from the accident.
A statement released by the force on Saturday stated: "We can now confirm that four people were on board the helicopter which crashed in a wooded area, in Jerviswood."
It added: "The bodies were found within the helicopter, which is owned by Mr Colin McRae of Jerviswood House, Lanark. It is believed he was on board the helicopter however until formal identification has taken place, we will not be able to confirm the identities of those onboard."
Police were remaining at the scene through the night where a thorough search of the area continued.
Air Accidents Investigation Branch staff will carry out a full investigation into the cause of the crash.
Strathclyde Police cordoned off the area, including a private road up to the McRae family house which is set in several acres of ground.
McRae, a licensed pilot who owns a helicopter, is married to Alison and has two children Hollie and Johnny.
He became the first Briton to win the World Rally Championship drivers' title in 1995 and hails from a well-known motor racing family in Scotland.
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THE woodland and farms just north of Lanark had been unusually quiet yesterday afternoon. A few weeks ago the area would have been a cacophony of noise as farmers on tractors prepared their crops for harvest.
But at about 4pm yesterday David Lowry, 48, cut an almost solitary figure as he fed his cattle. The navy blue helicopter which flew overhead was such a common sight his cows did not even flinch.
Locals knew the aircraft as belonging to, and piloted by, Colin McRae, their celebrity neighbour, but it rarely drew much attention. The weather was wet and windy but nothing exceptional for the time of year.
Then Lowry watched in astonishment as, without warning, normality turned to tragedy before his eyes.
McRae's Twin Squirrel helicopter suddenly dipped down behind trees into a valley covered with heavy woodland. It appeared a rotor blade had snapped off just as the machine was coming in to land.
The aircraft swung on to its side and then crashed into the trees. Lowry, and other neighbours heard an explosion. Then there was a fireball and a ghastly plume of thick, black smoke appeared above the trees.
Firefighters and police were on the scene just 10 minutes later but the burnt-out wreckage was a clear indication that no one could possibly have survived the impact and subsequent inferno.
Lowry was one of the first to call the police. The father-of-two told Scotland on Sunday: "It was just by chance that I was in the field at the time when the helicopter flew right overhead.
"I could not see what happened when it went down. It did not seem to be in any trouble. It was about half a mile from me and the helicopter seemed to be flying normally.
"I saw the smoke go up from the trees and called the emergency services, telling them exactly where it was. [LINK]
Mcrae on right, Pastrana left.