THE family of a Scottish oil worker killed in a helicopter crash in Norway say they have been left "heartbroken" by his death.

Iain Stuart, from Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire, died along with 10 other passengers and two crew when the aircraft travelling from an oil field crashed off the Norwegian coast on Friday.

"We are appreciative of all the messages of support and kind thoughts.

"We now ask, as a family, that we are allowed some privacy at this difficult and sad time to grieve and come to terms with our loss."

The EC225 Super Puma plunged from the air and smashed into rocks on the shoreline of the tiny island of Turoey. It was on its way to the city of Bergen from the North Sea Gullfaks B oil field.

Stuart, 41, was working for Houston-based oilfield services company Halliburton, which lost three other employees in the crash.

A statement released by his relatives said: "We as a family are devastated at the loss of Iain in Friday's tragic helicopter crash in Norway. Iain was a loving husband and devoted father to his two children and as a family we are heartbroken. He was a caring son, brother, uncle and friend to many."

The other victims were all Norwegian apart from an Italian who has not yet been named.

Tributes yesterday flooded in for Stuart and the flag at Brechin Golf Club, where he was a member, flew at half mast.

“They are a really lovely family" said family friend Charles Aitken. "It’s an absolute tragedy.”

In Norwegian footage a chopper rotor blade appears to plummet down minutes before the disaster. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has grounded all commercial flights by the model and experts from UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch have flown to Norway to help with the probe into Friday’s crash.

However over 6,000 people have signed a petition calling for EC225 Super Pumas to be grounded on a permanent basis. Started by an oil worker after the crash, it has been backed by relatives who have lost loved ones in previous Super Puma crashes, including Audrey Wood from Newmachar, Aberdeenshire.

She lost her son, oil rig worker Stuart Wood, in a Super Puma crash in 2009. “Seven years on and my life has stood still,” she said. “All variants of Puma should be removed from the oil industry, men should feel safe travelling to work.”

The petition says that there will be “more needless deaths” unless the CAA puts “the lives of offshore oil workers and the pilots before vested interests, and revokes the air worthiness certificates for this aircraft”.

Previous EC225 Super Puma crashes in Scotland include one off Shetland and another off Aberdeen in 2012. All EC225 Super Pumas were grounded as a result of the crashes but the ban was revoked the following year in August 2013.

Just after the ban was lifted, four people died in another crash. This time it was a different model of Super Puma – the AS332L2.

Often a means of transport for people working in the North Sea oil and gas industry, Super Pumas are widely used for the 140,000 helicopter passenger flights yearly in the UK.