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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 19 May, 2019
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Former pilot of Cork airport crash plane takes his own life

Oliver Lee’s father said his pilot son felt “guilt” that he had not been aboard the Manx2 plane on day of crash which killed six people.

Image: PA Images/Niall Carson

THE CORK AIRPORT crash tragedy in which six people died in February has indirectly claimed another life.

Oliver Lee, who had previously piloted the ill-fated Manx2 airplane on its Cork-Belfast route, took his own life at the weekend. He had last flown the plane five days before it crashed. He had just left the Manx2 airline for another company, Jet2, and was in training to fly Boeing 737 jets when the crash happened on 10 February this year.

His body was found hanging in a stable at his family home in Yorkshire on Sunday. Oliver’s father David Lee said his 29-year-old son had never gotten over a sense of guilt that he could have prevented the Cork crash had he been flying the plane that day. In the event, the pilot and co-pilot of the Manx2 flight were among the six casualties.

The Sun, the Mirror, the Irish Daily Star and The Mail all quote David Lee today as saying that Oliver “felt strongly that if he’d been there nobody would have died”. The grieving father continued:

He knew the fog problems associated with Cork and he would say that he would have either postponed the flight for safety reasons, or landed it without incident.

(He) was also overcome by fear and it seemed to have suddenly hit him what can happen in the aviation industry – the fear and guilt just ate away at him.

Despite me and his colleagues telling him there was nothing he could have done and it was not his fault, he just couldn’t accept it. It just all got too much for him.

The Manx2 plane crashed on a third attempt to land in heavy fog at Cork airport. As well as pilot Jordi Gola Lopez and co-pilot Andrew Cantle, passengers Brendan McAleese, a cousin of President Mary McAleese’s husband Martin, Pat Cullinan, Michael Evans and Richard Noble died in the incident.

Manx2 has since withdrawn its Belfast-Cork route.

You can contact Samaritans on 1850 60 9090, or contact them via email at jo@samaritans.org

Report into Cork disaster could take ‘more than a year’>


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