An inquest into the death of British rallying legend Colin McRae has been told that the former World Rally Champion was neither licensed nor qualified to be flying the helicopter in which he and three others were tragically killed.

McRae, his five-year-old son Johnny, family friend Graeme Duncan and Johnny's six-year-old friend Ben Porcelli all died when the helicopter in which they were travelling - and which was being piloted by the former Subaru star - came down in woodland a mile north of Lanark in Scotland, close to the family home, in September, 2007.

The group had been returning from a trip to a friend's farm, but Raymond Elgy from the Civil Aviation Authority has told an ongoing fatal accident inquiry at Lanark Sheriff Court that McRae was not legally authorised at the time to be behind the controls of the Squirrel helicopter, the BBC reveals.

Two years ago, a report made by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) disclosed that the Scot's five-year flying licence had expired in 2005, whilst his 'valid type rating' had similarly run out in March, 2007.