A FATAL accident inquiry into a North Sea helicopter crash that killed four oil workers is to proceed next week, a court has heard.

Details into the tragic incident are to be heard seven years on.

The Super Puma aircraft was carrying 18 people when it ditched on its approach to Sumburgh, Shetland, in 2013.

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Elgin woman Sarah Darnley, 45, (pictured above) Inverness man Gary McCrossan, 59, Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland in County Durham, and 57-year-old George Allison, from Winchesterin Hampshire, died in the incident. Their pictures are presented here in order.

The National:

At a preliminary hearing held virtually today, Martin Richardson QC said the Crown is prepared for the start of the inquiry next week.

The National:

It comes four years after a report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) found the pilots had failed to properly monitor the flight instruments and notice their airspeed was decreasing until it was too late to avoid plunging into the sea off Shetland.

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The helicopter was returning from the Borgsten Dolphin support vessel to Sumburgh Airport and no mechanical fault was discovered.

Two of those who died were unable to escape from the upturned fuselage. Another was found floating on the surface of the water and a fourth passenger had managed to make their way on to a life raft before they died.

AAIB representatives and survivors of the helicopter crash are among those expected to give evidence during the inquiry.

Derek Pyle, sheriff principal of Grampian, Highland and Islands, said holding the inquiry remotely will ensure no further time is lost.