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Two killed in mystery helicopter lesson crash; PROBE.

Byline: LUCY THORNTON

A FLYING instructor and his trainee were killed when their helicopter crashed at a bird nature reserve yesterday.

The pilot is thought to have struggled with the controls for about 40 minutes after losing power.

Desperately trying to steer the craft away from a built-up area, he eventually reached a wildlife sanctuary but was unable to land safely.

Both men were dead when rescuers reached them. Investigators are looking into whether the helicopter was hit by birds.

Air ambulance boss Lynda Brislin said: "This is a tragic loss of life.

"The fact the crash involved a helicopter was a very difficult situation for us and our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives."

The weather was near perfect for flying when the aircraft went down near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancs, around 12.50pm.

Barnaby's Sands nature reserve was sealed off and closed to the public last night. Police think the pilot was trying to carry out a controlled crash landing when his fuel ran out.

But the Air Accident Investigation Branch is investigating all possible causes. The names of the men will be released after next of kin are informed.

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HORROR The crash scene
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 23, 2009
Words:201
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