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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 19 August, 2019
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No evidence of engine failure in crash that killed pilot and seven-year-old boy

Kacper Kacprzak (7) and Neil Bowditch (47) died in the accident.

Neil Bowditch and seven-year-old Kacper Kacprzak.
Neil Bowditch and seven-year-old Kacper Kacprzak.
Image: Go Fund Me

A PRELIMINARY REPORT into a plane crash in Offaly that claimed the lives of a seven-year-old and a 47-year-old pilot has found no evidence that the engine failed.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) preliminary report into the fatal crash was released today.

Kacper Kacprzak (7) was a first class pupil in Scoil an Chroí Ró Naofa Íosa in Huntstown in Dublin.

He died in the crash which took place after 16 parachutists from the Irish Parachute Club successfully made a jump after taking off from Clonbullogue Airfield last month.

The young boy’s father Kris was one of the skydivers who jumped from the aircraft.

The pilot of the plane Neil Bowditch, known as Billy to the club’s members, also died in the crash after the aircraft plunged from the sky into a boggy area near Clonbullogue.

The report found that while examination of the Aircraft Data Acquisition System (ADAS) was ongoing, the engine was providing power until the end of the flight.

“The data indicates that the engine was providing power to the propeller until the end of the data recording.”

The investigation has interviewed a number of witnesses, with three being around 750 metres away.

“The Investigation interviewed a number of witnesses. Two witnesses (Witness A and Witness B) were situated approximately 750 m to the south of the accident site at the time of the accident. Witness A described hearing the aircraft pass overhead, before seeing it flying “sideways” and that it was “low down”. The witness indicated that the aircraft was on its left side and that it was travelling approximately northwards at the time. Witness A said that he and Witness B looked away momentarily and when they looked back, the aircraft was gone.

“He said that as he moved away from where they were standing, he met another person (Witness C) who said that “the plane’s gone down”. Witness B then assisted Witness C with contacting the emergency services, via mobile phone.”

Witness C said that they saw the aircraft coming straight down, nose first, before it disappeared below a line of trees, followed by a “thump”.

A full report will be delivered at a later date and the investigation is ongoing.

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