No 'technical defect' in plane crash
A preliminary air accident report has failed to detect any technical defect with a plane which crashed landed killing two men in Co Offaly on November 11th.
According to the preliminary Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) report, “the ongoing investigation will include further examination of the aircraft and engine as well as operational aspects and conduct of the flight.”
Tipperary native and flight instructor Niall Doherty(31) and trainee pilot Damien Deegan(31) from Crinkle near Birr in Co Offaly were killed in the crash.
Witnesses told investigators the aircraft was involved in a “touch-and-go landing” before climbing away from the airfield at Birr prior to the crash.
During that ascent “witnesses heard the engine stop and observed the aircraft make a steep descending turn to the left before disappearing from view.”
The plane’s occupants both had a passion for flying and were members of the Ormand Flying Club in Birr. Mr Doherty had flown commercially for Irish airlines in the past.
When not flying, he helped out with the family farm and worked at his family’s hardware store in Roscrea, Co Tipperary.
Mr Deegan worked at Tesco in Birr and was the vice president of Crinkle Handball Club. The popular young man was involved in a variety of local fundraising activities.
Both men were given an honorary fly past by the Ormand Flying Club when they were laid to rest in Dunkerrin and Birr Co Offaly last month.
The AAIU investigation into the crash is continuing and will include further examinations of the aircraft, engine and operational aspects of the flight. A full report will be released when the investigation concludes.