An Augusta 109 helicopter crashed into a high rise jib crane in central London (Vauxhall) at around 8am this morning (Wednesday January 16th), The cloud mist base was low, with poor visibility.
+++ Breaking 11:30am Police confirmed the helicopter was on scheduled commercial helicopter route from Redhill in Surrey to Elstree but landing denied due fog diverted due to weather conditions possibly retuning to Redhill.
+++ 2 fatalities (One helicopter pilot - no passengers) and one in close proximity to helicopter) 9 wounded, 5 minor and further 4 released after treatment.
+++ Road closures in area, Tube closed and some main line rail services cancelled.
+++ Rest Centre opened by local authority, all fires sources now out Crane in precarious state, fire crews assessing damage.
+++ Driver in car injured but escaped from burning car where helicopter came down. mf mf
Julian Bray writes: A warning notice NOTAM (copy below) was issued to flyers about the Vauxhall high rise jib crane on January 7th, it gives the height of the structure as 770 ft.
Although the crane is said to have been lit at night, the incident happened at around 8am, so the night time warning lights might have been automatically switched off .
These crane jib beacons are not designed as daylight fog lights, and even if lit during the day would not have been seen by the pilot until it was too late.
L0120/13 (OTH) London Heliport
N51°29.00 W000°07.00 1nm
Monday, 7 Jan 17:00 to Friday, 15 Mar 2013 23:59
Elevation: SFC - 800
HIGH RISE JIB CRANE (LIT AT NIGHT) OPR WI 1NM 5129N 00007W, HGT
770FT AMSL (VAUXHALL, CENTRAL LONDON),
Contributor: Media Expert, Aviation, Politics & Travel Commentator, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 01733 555319) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK