TRIBUTES have been paid to the 67-year-old man who died in a gyrocopter crash in the Scottish Highlands.

The pilot, who has been named locally as Paul Nichol from Balloch, was the only passenger and casualty after his light aircraft went down yesterday afternoon.

The gyrocopter Nichol was flying crashed into a field outside Avoch on the Black Isle at around 12:55pm on November 12.

He sadly died at the scene.

The Press and Journal reported that Nichol was only on his second solo flight, having completed his first at the weekend.

Highland Aviation, a company based at Inverness Airport which offers pilot training and flight experiences, operated the gyrocopter.

READ MORE: Police announce one death following gyrocopter crash on Black Isle

A spokesperson for the company said: “We are all devastated by the loss of our friend, and our deepest sympathies goes out to the pilot’s family and friends.

“We are assisting local police and AAIB as they investigate this tragic loss.

“The flying school is currently closed and will reopen on Monday. We would ask everyone to respect our privacy, and that of the pilot’s family at this time.”

AAIB, the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch, announced yesterday that a “team of inspectors” were heading to the Black Isle to commence an investigation.

Police are also appealing for witnesses to the crash.

Detective Inspector Brian Geddes said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the man who sadly lost his life, and we will have officers providing support at this difficult time.

“Inquiries into the circumstances of the incident are ongoing. We have already spoken to a number of people who witnessed the crash, however, we are appealing to anyone we haven’t spoken to to get in touch.

“I would also urge anyone who might also have images or video footage of the gyrocopter in the air or during the incident to please contact police either via 101, quoting incident number 1385 of 12 November, or via the online portal set up for this incident.”

The online portal can be found at

The Press and Journal spoke to one woman who saw the aircraft “fall out of the sky” after its propeller came off.

The local dog walker told the paper she had seen the light aircraft flying very low before disappearing from view. She said that when she arrived at the crash site the gyrocopter was already on fire.