Colin McRae's father, five time British champion Jimmy McRae, has spoken publicly for the first time about the accident that saw the 1995 WRC champion lose his life on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking to BBC Scotland following the accident - which also saw his five-year-old grandson Johnny die along with his best friend Ben Porcelli and family friend Graeme Duncan - McRae Sr. admitted he couldn't believe what had happened and said his initial thoughts were that there must have been a problem with the aircraft prior to it coming down.

"It's very ironic when you consider the dangerous life that Colin did have in his career as a rally driver," he said. "To lose his life 50 yards from the door of his house, along with our grandson Johnny and his friend Ben and a close school friend of Colin's who was here from France and was out for a ride in the helicopter, is just so ironic. It is almost unbelievable.

"It's up to the accident investigators [to say what happened] but I know from the line of the helicopter as it's been coming in that he had a problem. Until these guys find out the problem, I don't know what it is, but he would normally be a mile, half a mile up the valley coming in in that direction. As far as I can see, he has had a problem further back and has been trying to clear the trees to get to the field.

"Colin had a passion for helicopters, as he did for driving rally cars - and we all know he was very good at that. As far as I am concerned, he was a perfect pilot and I know very experienced pilots have sat beside him. One guy called me from New Zealand to tell me he was sure that it couldn't have been pilot error."

McRae added that his son's record showed just how good he was behind the wheel of a rally car, and said he couldn't put into words the feelings of the three families caught up in the tragedy.

"He was world champion, and to be champion of the world you have to be the champion of the world," he said. "It is so sad we have lost Johnny as even at an early age he was showing signs of wanting to do what I did and what his dad did.

"I can't sum it up as far as the family and friends are concerned, including the family and friends of Ben and Graeme. There are no words to describe it."