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Monday, May 10, 1999 Published at 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK


Highlands crash inquiry launched

The plane has been righted to allow investigations to continue

Accident investigators are at the site of a light aircraft crash in the north of Scotland in which birthday celebrations turned to tragedy.

The plane was on a flight from Dornoch airstrip in Sutherland to its base at Inverness Airport when it came down near the village of Rosemarkie.

The Jodel model had apparently nose-dived into an open field and overturned on impact, destroying the cockpit.

The area was affected by low cloud at the time of the accident on Sunday afternoon.

George Sutherland, 58, and his wife Mary, 55, from Brora, were killed in the accident. The aircraft had made a number of trips to celebrate a friend's 21st birthday.

Air traffic controllers at Inverness lost radar contact with the plane. A second fixed-wing plane later spotted the crash site.

A helicopter in the area landed nearby and reported no signs of life. Emergency services including an RAF rescue helicopter were soon on the scene.

Air accident investigators from Farnborough in Hampshire are due to begin examining the wreckage and the crash site on Monday.

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