- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

LANARK, SCOTLAND (AP) - An inquiry has ruled that former world rally champion Colin McRae was engaging in irresponsible low-level helicopter flying without a valid license when he was killed in a crash along with his 5-year-old son and two others.

McRae was piloting a helicopter he owned when it crashed in a wooded area near his home in Lanark, central Scotland in 2007.

A fatal accident inquiry says the crash could have been avoided as McRae’s piloting was “unnecessary and unsafe,” with his “spectacular and dramatic fly-past of the valley and its vegetation … all for the benefit of his passengers.”

The inquiry, which sat for 16 days at Lanark Sheriff Court, also says the 1995 world champion wasn’t holding a valid flying license.

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