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Investigations into plane crash which killed instructor and trainee pilot

Gardaí and the Air Accident Investigation Unit are probing the crash near Birr which killed two men yesterday evening.

The scene of the crash this morning.
The scene of the crash this morning.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TWO INVESTIGATIONS INTO the light aircraft crash which killed two men near Birr in Co Offaly yesterday are under way today.

Both Gardaí and the Department of Transport’s Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) are investigating the circumstances of the crash in which an instructor and a trainee pilot died.

The pair have been named locally as Niall Doherty, the instructor, and his trainee Damien Deegan.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said this morning that the Air Traffic Control centre at Shannon notified emergency service just before 5pm yesterday when the aircraft – a Cessna 150 - disappeared off the radar.

Investigators from the AAIU were on the scene last night and the IAA said this morning it would co-operate fully with investigations.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, aviation expert Gerry Bryrne said that “one of many things” could have caused yesterday’s crash but appeared to rule out the possibility that weather played a factor.

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He said that visibility in darkness could have been an issue.

Read: Two dead after light aircraft crash in Co Offaly

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Hugh O'Connell

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