Palma.—A major air accident investigation was underway yesterday after two Britons were killed when their MD 500 helicopter crashed in the area between Andratx and Estellencs at 11.10am.

On board was the owner and apparently his future father-in-law and the pair took off from Son Bonet airfield at 10.40. Just minutes before a local British pilot had returned from a helicopter flight and saw the two men walking out to their helicopter. “The flying conditions were perfect. I hope we get a quick and clear conclusion as to what happened because pilots don't like mystery accidents. This has ruined my day.” the pilot told the Bulletin.

According to sources close to the investigation, the cause of the accident appears to be a mechanical one, possibly fuelrelated . The helicopter came down some 40 metres from the road and apparently exploded on impact, although their were some claims that it exploded in the air over the La Trapa nature reserve near the Coll de Sa Gramola.

First at the scene were the Andratx Local Police and teams of paramedics but there was nothing that could have been done to have saved the two men.
The helicopter, said to be worth over one million dollars new, was a smouldering mangled wreck of metal and the two victims charred beyond recognition, according to emergency service sources.

The bodies were eventually airlifted by a Guardia Civil helicopter to the road where hearses were waiting to take the bodies to the Forensic Institute in Palma for indentification. The crash also sparked a small forest fire but fire fighters quickly extinguished the blaze.

The MD500, when based in Majorca, uses Sloane Helicopters' hanger as a garage but Sloane Helicopters said yesterday that the company neither services nor operates the helicopter. “We just garage but, this is an absolute tragedy,”a spokesperson for Sloane Helicopters told the Bulletin.


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