Tributes paid to former RAF Odiham pilot David Traill, who died in Glasgow pub helicopter crash

Basingstoke Gazette: Former RAF Odiham flight lieutenant David Traill. Former RAF Odiham flight lieutenant David Traill.

THE pilot killed in the Glasgow helicopter pub crash tragedy was a former RAF Odiham flight lieutenant.

David Traill was one of nine people who died last Friday night after the police helicopter he was piloting crashed into the Clutha Vaults pub. Thirty-two people were also injured.

Tributes have been paid to the 51-year-old former flight lieutenant in the RAF, who served on various squadrons during his time at RAF Odiham.

The former Chinook pilot and instructor, who taught cadets how to fly Chinooks at RAF Odiham, was selected as the captain for the Chinook Display Team for the 2007 season.

Station personnel at RAF Odiham described Mr Traill as “a vastly experienced and capable pilot and instructor.”

Mr Traill served in Afghanistan, both Gulf wars, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and the Falkland Islands.

He left the RAF in September 2008 to become a civilian pilot, following his final tour as a qualified helicopter instructor on the Chinook Operational Conversion Flight, 18 (B) Squadron.

RAF Odiham station commander Group Captain Richard Maddison said: “Although David Traill left the RAF in 2008, many of us served alongside him, both at Odiham and overseas.

“The station is deeply saddened by this loss, and our thoughts go out to the family and friends of all of those who have been affected by this tragic accident.”

It has been reported that Mr Traill may have been one of Prince William’s flight instructors at RAF Odiham, where the Duke of Cambridge learned how to fly five years ago. Kensington Palace said it was “very possible” that their paths had crossed during the Prince’s military career.

The Eurocopter helicopter was this week lifted out by a crane and taken by lorry to the Air Accident Investigation Branch base in Farnborough, where experts will try to establish what caused the crash.

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