A RENFREWSHIRE man who was piloting a helicopter which crashed onto the roof of a pub, killing 10 people, has been described as "a safe pair of hands" at an inquiry into the disaster.

David Traill, from Lochwinnoch, died along with crew members Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis when the aircraft crashed at the Clutha Vaults, in Glasgow, on November 29, 2013.

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Pub customers Mark O'Prey, John McGarrigle, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins, Samuel McGhee, Joe Cusker and Gary Arthur, from Paisley, were also killed.

Giving evidence at a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) today, Alistair Rennie – a police air observer and colleague of those in the helicopter – described Mr Traill as the kind of man who would not look to do a job any way "other than how it was supposed to be done."

When asked by Donald Findlay QC, representing the family of one of the victims, whether the pilot was a stickler for the rules or was "gung-ho," Mr Rennie said: "Stickler, I would say so."

Mr Findlay then asked why, to which he replied: "He was a safe pair of hands, is how I would describe him...certainly not one who would cut corners."

He also agreed with Mr Findlay's assessment of the crew's experience in the helicopter, as had previously been discussed with another colleague appearing as a witness at the FAI, saying Mr Collins had more experience than Ms Nelis but adding that she was not inexperienced.

The inquiry has previously heard that five fuel warnings appeared before the helicopter crashed.

The Gazette: Top: left to right) David Traill; PC Kirsty Nelis; PC Tony Collins; Gary Arthur; Samuel McGhee (Bottom: left to right) Colin Gibson; Robert Jenkins; Mark O'Prey; John McGarrigle; Joe CuskerTop: left to right) David Traill; PC Kirsty Nelis; PC Tony Collins; Gary Arthur; Samuel McGhee (Bottom: left to right) Colin Gibson; Robert Jenkins; Mark O'Prey; John McGarrigle; Joe Cusker

Mr Rennie was asked about how these warnings would be discussed by the crew, agreeing when Mr Findlay asked if conversation would be more casual than when a pilot would be speaking to air traffic control, as Mr Traill did twice before the crash.

Mr Findlay said: "I'm trying to understand what the atmosphere in the cockpit would be like. You wouldn't have ignored that (fuel warning), would you?"

Mr Rennie replied: "No, I wouldn't."

The inquiry heard Mr Rennie became a part-time air observer from 2006 and turned full-time in 2012.

Sean Smith QC, for the Crown, asked: "Have you ever seen a low fuel warning in your time in the air?"

Mr Rennie said he had not but had seen it when on the ground before or during checks and did not know if the fuel caution was a frequent indicator.

Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull asked if he could recall seeing it in his 12 or 13 years of experience, to which Mr Rennie again said "No."

Mr Rennie was the rear observer in the helicopter on the November 29 day shift before its fatal crash that evening.

The inquiry was shown a document detailing the flights from that shift, with the first journey from Glasgow to Inverness taking place between 9.05am and 10.15am.

Mr Rennie said this was to refuel at Inverness before going on to a search, with a full tank, at nearby Strathpeffer.

The search took place during the second flight, between 10.50am and 12.25pm, before landing in Inverness to refuel again.

From there, they conducted a short search of Dores, near Loch Ness, before returning to Glasgow at 2.35pm, when Mr Rennie completed paperwork before the end of his shift.

Mr Smith asked: "Were you aware of any defects or anything unusual with the aircraft?"

Mr Rennie replied: "No, I wasn't."

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He was asked if there had been "any discussion between you and the pilot" about any problems.

Mr Rennie said: "I don't recall any."

The inquiry at a temporary court at Hampden Park will continue on Monday.

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