UK & World News

  • 8 December 2013, 1:20

Glasgow Helicopter Crash Pilot's Funeral Held

The funeral has taken place of the pilot killed when his helicopter crashed onto a Glasgow bar last weekend.

Captain David Traill was one of nine people who died when the aircraft crashed on to the roof of the city's Clutha bar on Friday last week.

He was a decorated war veteran, having served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, but had flown for a private company since his retirement from the RAF.

Friends, family and colleagues attended a service at Glasgow University, led by chaplain Reverend Stuart MacQuarrie.

Before the memorial, a guard of honour was formed, with police officers on one side and air ambulance pilots and paramedics on the other.

The funeral cortege was led by police outriders and was joined by a friend of Capt Traill who rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle to the service.

The service had been put together by Capt. Traill's fiancee, Lucy, a graduate from the university, and his father, Iain, who sobbed as he read a poem, You Can Shed Tears, to mourners.

The minister read out a tribute from Lucy whom Capt Traill met just over four years ago.

She said: "Dave was the best thing that ever happened to me ?He was the most amazing, caring, loving, strong, capable, funny, creative, delicious and sexy boy in the whole world and I cannot even begin to imagine life without him."

She added that some of his passions included cycling, Scotland's west coast, fine dining, kayaking, Take That, and "best of all" karaoke.

"It all seemed too perfect but there was no catch. He just adored me and told me every single day," she said.

Mr Traill Snr read the same poem by David Harkins at his younger son Angus' funeral three years ago.

A close friend from Mr Traill's time in the RAF read a tribute to "the greatest friend a man could hope for".

Andy Rooney said: "David, Dave, Davey, Swampy - he was different things to different people and he touched many lives.

"But there was a consistency to him that few could match and many could envy. The calm he offered, the warmth with which he was received."

He went on: "He was the greatest friend a man could hope for. A steady, loyal brother in arms.

"He wasn't perfect, that would be tedious. He was a helicopter pilot who didn't like heights.

"You could get him in a helicopter, but you couldn't get him up a set of ladders. He was a pilot who got air sick, to be fair this was mostly on fixed-wing planes."

The 51-year-old had played an active role in the lives of his three young nephews since they lost their father - his younger brother Angus - to throat cancer three years ago.

Capt Traill did not make a mayday call before the aircraft crashed onto the Clutha bar, killing him and two police passengers: Kristy Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43.

Six other people, attending a live music event inside the pub, also died: Robert Jenkins, 61, Mark O'Prey, 44, Colin Gibson, 33, John McGarrigle, 57, Gary Arthur, 48, and Samuel McGhee, 56.

Around 100 people were inside the building when the Eurocopter dropped out of the sky "like a stone" last Friday night and 10 of the 32 injured remain in hospital.

There was no black box data recorder on the helicopter but air accident investigators are examining the wreckage in Farnborough, Hampshire, and are expected to publish their initial findings next week.

Bond Air Services described their popular colleague as "the epitome of the consummate professional" and "a legend" whose passing would be mourned with "a sense of intense loss and sorrow".

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