Latest: No distress signal sent from aircraft involved in fatal Kildare crash

Latest: No distress signal sent from aircraft involved in fatal Kildare crash
Superintendent Martin Walker (right) along with Howard Hughes (centre) and John Owens, of the Air Accident Investigation Unit, speak to the media near the scene in Belan, Moone, in Co. Kildare. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Latest: No distress signal was sent from the aircraft which crashed in Co Kildare yesterday evening.

The aircraft has been removed from the scene after an initial investigation by the Air Accident Investigation Unit.

Two men, one aged 70 and the other in his 50s, were killed when their light aircraft crashed in Belan near Athy.

The wreckage was located by the Rescue 116 helicopter at around half four this morning, three hours after the alarm was raised.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit is currently carrying out an initial examination of the aircraft at the scene.

Lead Investigator Howard Hughes says no communication was made by the pilot.

"Indications are there was no communication from the aircraft nor would the pilot have been obliged to have done so," said Mr Hughes.

"Kilrush Airfield is located in air space where they do not have to make radio contact with any of the major air traffic control units around Ireland.

"So our understanding at this stage is that there was no communication."

The scene after an aircraft crash at a farm in Belan, Moone, Co Kildare
The scene after an aircraft crash at a farm in Belan, Moone, Co Kildare

Light aircraft that crashed killing two men in Kildare was on training flight

Update 1.30pm: The chief inspector of the Air Accident Investigation Unit, Jurgen White is hoping to have a preliminary report within 30 days into the fatal air accident which occurred in Kildare yesterday evening.

He told RTE radio’s News at One that at 3am this morning he received a call from an Garda Síochána that an aircraft had not returned to its base in Kilrush airfield in Co. Kildare.

An emergency response was immediately initiated involving numerous agencies including the gardaí, rescue helicopter R116 and the aviation authority which played back radar tapes to determine the last known position of the aircraft.

Once that position was identified it led gardaí to discover the downed craft in Belan, Moone, Co. Kildare with the two fatally injured men.

The area around Belan, where the crash happened. Google Maps
The area around Belan, where the crash happened. Google Maps

Two inspectors of the Air Accident Investigation Unit are at present on site recording all the information from the aircraft and conducting a full investigation of the site, said Mr White.

It is hoped that the wreckage will be removed today and transported to Gormanstown, Co. Meath, for a detailed examination.

The aircraft, which was registered in the UK, was based in Kilrush which is not an unusual situation according to Mr White.

“It’s not unusual for UK- or US-registered aircraft to be flying around Ireland.”

The aircraft was on a training flight when the accident occurred, he said. It was only when families of the two men and the owner of the aircraft became concerned that the alert was activated.

He said he will keep an open mind as to the cause of the accident through the entire “long and detailed” process which will be “meticulous”.

“I hope to have a preliminary report within 30 days.”

Earlier: Two dead in airplane crash in Kildare

Two men have died after a light aircraft crashed in Co. Kildare last night.

Gardaí and emergency services attended the incident at Belan, Moone, Athy, yesterday.

At 4.30am this morning, the aircraft was found after a search by Gardaí and Irish Coast Guard helicopter rescue 116.

The bodies of the two men, aged 70 and in their late 50s, were removed to the mortuary in Naas General Hospital.

Naas General Hospital.
Naas General Hospital.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) are at scene and the Irish Aviation Authority have been notified.

The AAIU said the aircraft was registered in the UK and "was engaged on a local flight from Kilrush Airfield yesterday evening" when the crash happened.

A concerned member of the public reported the men missing at around 7.30pm yesterday evening after they failed to return to the nearby Kilrush airstrip.

Additional reporting by Digital Desk

More on this topic

Dail committee demands answers over NUI Maynooth €750,000 loan write-off Dail committee demands answers over NUI Maynooth €750,000 loan write-off

Kildare skincare company Pestle & Mortar win National Enterprise AwardKildare skincare company Pestle & Mortar win National Enterprise Award

Part of M7 to remain closed due to upgrade worksPart of M7 to remain closed due to upgrade works

Intel look to create thousands more jobs for KildareIntel look to create thousands more jobs for Kildare

More in this Section

Man accused of scamming two elderly people out of €330,000Man accused of scamming two elderly people out of €330,000

Ireland ‘in grip of sexual violence crisis’; Rape Crisis Centre sees demand for services soarIreland ‘in grip of sexual violence crisis’; Rape Crisis Centre sees demand for services soar

Gardaí object to bail for manGardaí object to bail for man

Third of parents in debt to cover back-to-school costsThird of parents in debt to cover back-to-school costs


Lifestyle

This year heralds the return of a much-maligned shade, pulled from the design doldrums and now paired with some unexpected complementary colours, materials and tone-on-tone activity, writes Carol O’Callaghan.Fifty shades of beige

Their romance took Laura Roset and Ken Mohally from Mallow to Moldova and back again.Wedding of the Week: Love spreads from Mallow to Moldova

Every day, I take my wife a cup of tea in bed. However, we sometimes make love in the mornings and she pauses to finish her cup before it goes cold.Sexual healing: Her long tea breaks cools the moment

As the Caped Crusader hits 80 years of protecting Gotham City, Chris Wasser looks at the history of the world’s darkest superhero.80 years on, Batman still packs a punch

More From The Irish Examiner