Skydiver killed in crash planned trip home

THE parents of Nigel O’Gorman, who was killed in a plane crash on Monday, arrived in Australia yesterday to begin preparations to bring his body home.

Mr O’Gorman, 34, from Naas in Co Kildare but born in Dublin, was one of five people killed when a seven-seater Cessna 206 aircraft hit a tree on take-off at the Brisbane Skydiving Centre near Ipswich in Queensland and then crashed upside down into a nearby reservoir. Two people, including the founder of the centre, survived.

It was revealed yesterday that Mr O’Gorman, a skydiving instructor, had been planning a trip home to Ireland. According to the chief instructor at the Irish Parachute Club in Co Offaly, Colman Brouder, he had been in contact about a trip home.

“He was due back in the summer at our centre and he was going to do some work with our instructors and bring them up to date on current stuff that was happening around the world,” he said.

“We were looking forward to that happening, him coming back.

“He actually loved doing what he did every day. He had achieved more in 12 years than a lot of people had in 40 years.”

Mr O’Gorman’s fiancée, Emma McCormack, also from Naas, was waiting at the drop zone some distance away when the crash happened.

Yesterday, she was joined by Mr O’Gorman’s parents, Dermot and Beatrice, and by one of his two younger brothers, Simon.

Naas parish priest Fr Moling Lennon said it was too early to comment on funeral arrangements for Mr O’Gorman’s burial, but said the whole area was deeply saddened by the tragedy.

“Everyone is very shocked,” he said, adding that Mr O’Gorman was a regular visitor home. “It is just a terrible shock for his family,” he said.

Mr O’Gorman had lived in Australia for five years and was due to receive Australian citizenship in April.

Meanwhile, it emerged that the engine on the plane is similar to one recalled by its US manufacturers Lycoming in 2002 after a 2000 crash in Australia claimed eight lives.

Witnesses to the accident claimed that smoke was seen coming from the rear of the plane, hinting at possible engine failure.

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