BBC HOMEPAGE | NEWS | WORLD SERVICE | SPORT | MY BBC low graphics | help
news vote 2001search vote 2001
 You are in: Vote2001
VOTE2001 
Main Issues 
Features 
Crucial Seats 
Key People 
Parties 
Results &  Constituencies 
Opinion Polls 
Online 1000 
Virtual Vote 
Talking Point 
Forum 
AudioVideo 
Programmes 
Voting System 
Local Elections 
Nations 

N Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 

BBC News

BBC Sport

BBC Weather
Thursday, 7 June, 2001, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Hague helicopter inquiry ordered
William Hague's election helicopter
Mr Hague arriving in Shrewsbury on Tuesday.
An investigation has been launched after William Hague's campaign helicopter reportedly had a "near miss" with another vehicle in mid-air.

The Tory leader has described how the helicopter made a "sharp movement" as he flew to a rally in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Newspaper reports said the Sikorsky S-76 was almost hit by another helicopter and had to bank suddenly.

Ffion Hague
Ffion Hague is said to have been on board
Mr Hague was accompanied by his wife Ffion, four aides - including Sebastian Coe - and a Special Branch officer when the incident occurred.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday morning, Mr Hague praised his pilot Andy Beattie for taking evasive action.

He said: "It wasn't very scary because the pilot was in full control of the situation."

Explaining that the incident would be properly investigated, he added: "It was just a sharp movement as far as the passengers were concerned."

Initial report

A spokeswoman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: "The UK Airprox Board, a separate body to the CAA set up to look at incidents such as near-misses, had received an initial report regarding an S-76 helicopter and another at 1445BST on Tuesday 5 June at 2,500 feet."

The spokeswoman could not confirm who was in either helicopter.

An RAF spokeswoman also confirmed a report had been sent to the UK Airprox Board, a joint civil and military organisation operating out of the CAA.

It could not be confirmed whether the second helicopter was a military helicopter.

Both helicopters were flying in an area of uncontrolled air space, and therefore not under the guidance of air traffic controllers.

In such areas, it is the duty of pilots to act on a "see and be seen basis".

 A/V CONSOLE
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS

Voting system

INTERACT
Find your constituency
Enter post code
  
PARTY WEB LINKS



The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
©BBC