Airplane crash victim Kacper ‘a happy, smiling young boy’

The boy who was killed in the light airplane crash in Offaly on Sunday afternoon has been remembered as a “happy, smiling young boy” by the principal of his school.

Seven-year-old Kacper Kacprzak died when the plane in which he was a passenger crashed not far from where it had taken off at the Irish Parachute Club’s airfield in Clonbullogue, near Edenderry.

Sixteen parachutists, including the boy’s father, had just completed a scheduled jump from the plane moments before the crash.


Kacper’s father Kris is a member of the Irish Parachute Club.

The pilot has been named as Niall ‘Billy’ Bowditch, who was in his 40s and from Britain.

Kacper was a pupil at Scoil an Chroí Ró Naofa Íosa in Huntstown in Dublin 15.

School principal Kieran Lyons said all staff and pupils at the school are shocked and saddened by the tragic death.

Kacper was a happy, smiling young boy, always enthusiastic and interested in learning,” Mr Lyons said in a letter to parents on the school’s website.

“He had a great bond with his peers and was a very good friend. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed in our school by pupils and staff alike.

“We have been in contact with Kacper’s parents to offer our help and support.

“Our school has implemented our critical incident management plan. Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service have been with us today supporting and advising school staff as we assist our pupils at this time.

“The board of management, children, parents and staff of Sacred Heart of Jesus Primary School, Huntstown extend their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Kacper.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult of times.”

Members of the gardai and an Air Accident Investigation Unit examine the wreckage of the aircraft which crashed in dense forest on the outskirts of Clonbuloge, Co. Offaly. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

The letter also noted the tragedy may raise other issues in young children and outlined supports available to any pupils affected.

Meanwhile, a Gofundme fundraiser has been set up to help the families of the victims.

Fund organiser Allaiouti Hassan said: “We are heartbroken by the loss of two cherished members of our family at the Irish Parachute Club, little Kacper, son of our dear friend and fellow skydiver Kris, and Billy, a true gentleman and a thoughtful and great pilot.

“I know that our skydiving family and the wider community want to come together and do what we can to support the families affected by this tragic accident. I myself have a son the same age as Kacper who loves planes. Having met Kacper at the club I know he was such a beautiful boy who would touch anyone’s heart.”

Mr Hassan appealed for donations for the families of the crash victims.

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