Preliminary report into Kildare air crash expected within 30 days

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

A preliminary report into the cause of an air crash in Kildare which took the lives of two men is expected within the next 30 days.

The crash occurred at Belan, Moone in Kildare on Thursday evening.

The aircraft was registered in the United Kingdom and was engaged on a local flight from Kilrush Airfield.

Superintendent Martin Walker said that a concerned member of the public notified Gardaí once the aircraft had failed to return to the airfield.

"They had departed from the area of Kilrush airstrip. Obviously, at that stage, we had concerns for the occupants of what was described as a BRM Aero Bristell NG 5 aircraft. So we commenced a search and we also engaged the services of search and rescue helicopter," he told KFM.

Gardaí were assisted in their search by Irish Coast Guard helicopter rescue 116 and the aircraft was located this morning at 4.30am.

Two men, one aged in his 70s and the other in his late 50s, were fatally injured in the crash.

Their bodies were taken to the mortuary in Naas General Hospital.

Two Inspectors of Air Accidents were deployed and have begun an investigation of the scene.

The Irish Aviation Authority has also been notified.

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
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

Chief inspector of the Air Accident Investigation Unit, Jurgen White said he is hoping to have a preliminary report within 30 days into the accident.

He told RTÉ Radio's News at One that, at 3am, he received a call from An Garda Síochána that an aircraft had not returned to its base in Kilrush airfield in 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.

Mr White said that the two inspectors at the site had begun recording all the information from the aircraft and were conducting a full investigation of the site.

It is expected that the wreckage will be removed tomorrow and transported to Gormanstown in Meath for a detailed examination.

Mr White said that it was not unusual for a UK registered aircraft to be based in Kilrush and that the aircraft was on a training flight when the accident occurred.

"It was only when families of the two men and the owner of the aircraft became concerned that the alert was activated," he said.

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

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