Brother of Louis Walsh ‘averts catastrophe’ in US helicopter crash

Joe Walsh (55), from Mayo, flying helicopter when it crashed near New Jersey apartment block


A brother of Irish pop mogul Louis Walsh has walked away virtually unscathed after the helicopter he was piloting crash landed in the United States.

Joe Walsh (55), a native of Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, was flying a Robinson R44 helicopter when it crashed in the car park of an apartment complex in Chatham, New Jersey.

Mr Walsh has been praised by local police for the manner he carried out the emergency landing around 6.30pm on Friday evening last (local time) without causing serious injury or loss of life.

A spokesperson for Chatham police said: “I think the pilot did a wonderful job landing this helicopter where he did and could have averted catastrophe.”

Both Mr Walsh and his passenger escaped without serious injury although they did require medical attention.

A local woman who witnessed the crash, which occurred about three miles from Morristown Airport, New Jersey, said afterwards: “I feel like there were angels looking out for a lot of people today.”

News that Mr Walsh and his passenger were safe was welcomed in the businessman’s home town of Kiltimagh where his mother, Maureen, still lives.

A member of the Walsh family said Mr Walsh was flying to his home in New Jersey after picking up the helicopter when the crash happened.

Helicopters piloted by Mr Walsh are a familiar sight in Mayo skies.

He is a director of Connaght Helicopters Limited which flies regularly into and out of Ireland West Airport Knock.

Joe’s brother, X Factor judge Louis, admitted in a recent newspaper interview that when his brother flies his chopper over Kiltimagh everybody thinks it is him (Louis).

“Joseph lives in New Jersey but he comes home all the time,” Louis explained adding: “He has a helicopter and flies around the place and everybody thinks it’s me.”