AN inquest into the death of the late Honister Slate Mine owner Mark Weir is due to be held later this month.

Mr Weir, who was 45, died in March 2011 when his helicopter crashed metres from the mine he had built up into a popular tourist attraction in the Borrowdale Valley.

Tributes to the pioneering businessman, who lived at Mosser, near Cockermouth, quickly poured in with Countryfile presenter and friend Julia Bradbury describing him as ‘irreplaceable’.

Mr Weir frequently used his helicopter to commute between his home and various locations in the Lake District.

The findings of the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) are expected to be detailed at the hearing.

Its report into the crash, released in October, found Mr Weir had the skill level of a British military pilot but was not qualified to fly at night.

It also highlighted irregularities in the helicopter’s maintenance and airworthiness but stated none of these could be directly linked to the cause of the accident.

Coroner service officials told The Westmorland Gazette that the inquest would start at 10am on March 25 at Cleator Moor Civic Hall.