Former world rally champion Colin McRae has been killed when a helicopter he was piloting crashed in Scotland. Three other people on board the aircraft owned by McRae, including his 5-year-old son and another boy, also died when it came down in a wooded area in Lanarkshire.

Police say the helicopter turned into a giant fireball on impact, requiring 40 fireman to combat the flames and making rescue efforts impossible. They say McRae was a licensed pilot who often flies in that area of Scotland.

Air accident investigators in Britain will carry out a probe into the cause of the crash.

McRae, 39, became the first Briton to win the World Rally Championship in 1995.

He began his career in 1986 on the local Scottish rally circuit where he learnt the motoring skills that took him to the top of the sport. He chalked up 25 World Rally Championship victories.

He also lent his name to a successful series of rallying video games.