'Unspeakable tragedy': Two men who died in light-plane crash in Wexford named locally

'Unspeakable tragedy': Two men who died in light-plane crash in Wexford named locally
The scene of the crash near Duncormick, Co Wexford. Picture: Patrick Browne

Update: The two men who died after their plane crashed in Wexford yesterday evening have been named locally.

Peter Tawse and John Finnan died shortly before 6pm when the plane came down near Duncormick.

Mr Tawse, aged 61 and from New Ross in Wexford, was an experienced aviation instructor and a former manager of Waterford Regional Airport.

Mr Finnan, aged 58 and from Naas in Kildare, was also onboard when the plane came down.

An Independent councillor in Wexford, who is also a member of the emergency services has described the fatal air crash in Co Wexford on Sunday evening as “a tragedy of unspeakable proportions.”

Cllr Ger Carthy told RTÉ radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show “something catastrophic happened yesterday evening.”

Weather conditions at the time had been clear, he said. “It was a fantastic day, there was no cloud.”

He said that he believed the aircraft was returning to the airfield when the accident happened.

The two casualties were located close to the wreckage while gardaí coordinated the rescue and recovery mission.

The atmosphere in the south Wexford area was “very sad and sombre” as it was an area that was not used to seeing emergency services, he said.

The scene of the crash at Duncormick, Co. Wexford, last night. Picture: Patrick Browne
The scene of the crash at Duncormick, Co. Wexford, last night. Picture: Patrick Browne

Earlier: Preliminary report into light-plane crash in Wexford within 30 days

The chief inspector of the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU), Jurgen White, hopes to have a preliminary report within 30 days into the air crash in Wexford on Sunday night in which both pilots died.

A team from the AAIU is at the site of the accident today in an effort to retrieve all the parts of the wreckage which is spread over a number of fields, Mr White told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland,

The aircraft in question was a vintage two-seater with one engine that was primarily used for leisure flying, he said.

The spread of the wreckage “gives some indication of the direction the investigation should take".

“Clearly something happened to the aircraft before it hit the terrain.”

Eye witness reports from the area to gardaí indicated there was a loud bang, Mr White said that the AAIU will be talking to the witnesses “who had seen or heard the aircraft in difficulty” as part of their investigation.

Gardaí contacted the AAIU at 6pm on Sunday and they were on site by 9pm, he added. The remains of both pilots were released at 11pm.

Their names will not be released until family members have been informed.

The level of experience of both pilots has not yet been determined, said Mr White.

Earlier: Gardaí investigate after two men die in light-plane crash in Wexford

An investigation has been launched after two men died in a light-plane crash in Wexford yesterday evening.

It happened shortly before 6pm near Duncormick, and their bodies have been removed for post mortem examinations.

It is understood one of the men is from Co. Wexford and the other is from Co. Kildare.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit and the Irish Aviation Authority are investigating.

Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Michael Sheehan said it is devastating news.

Mr Sheehan said: "To thank the emergency services for their speedy response and the Guards also.

"It's a very sad day for the people of Wexford and we hope and pray that over the next couple of days that people keep the families in their thoughts and prayers.

- Additional reporting by Digital desk

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