Plane Crash Described As Dark Day For Offaly

Emergency services at the scene of the crash of a light aircraft near Clonbullogue Co Offaly on Sunday
Emergency services at the scene of the crash of a light aircraft near Clonbullogue Co Offaly on Sunday
Author

15 May, 2018

The father of a seven-year-old boy killed in a light aircraft crash had made a scheduled parachute jump from the plane minutes earlier.

Gardaí (Irish police) said the aircraft, which had 16 parachutists on board, took off from Clonbullogue Airfield at 14:45 BST.

The pilot, who was in his 40s and from the United Kingdom, and the boy were on the plane which crashed not long after 16 skydivers jumped without incident.

The aircraft became embedded in the bog and the two occupants had not been recovered from the wreckage by late Sunday.

It is understood that the crashed plane was a Cessna Caravan. It is understood the task was made more hard as the plane was buried to a depth of around six feet in the bog.

"When it hit the tree line the tail moved and I knew there was something wrong", he said.

"I heard a awful roaring and it went straight down like a torpedo", Jimmy Slattery said.

The crash happened a few kilometres away in bog land near Edenderry.

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"That roar will live with me for a while", he added.

On Monday morning, two engineers and a pilot from the Air Accident Investigation Unit will continue their inquiry into the events that led to the tragedy.

The child died in the accident in Ireland after 16 parachutists left.

Bowditch was an experienced pilot and flight instructor and was a regular at the Irish Parachute Club in Clonbullogue.

He said: "People would be over there all the time, especially at weekends in the summer, a lot of people parachuting and a lot of fundraising jumpers".

"It's a great shock to hear of an accident like that happening".

Local Councillor Martin O'Reilly of Sinn Féin said the community was shocked and saddened.


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