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No faults in Cork Airport crash plane: Preliminary report

The preliminary report into the February crash, in which six people died, found no evidence of mechanical failures – but indicated that the experience and training of the pilot and the co-pilot would need to be examined further.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE PRELIMINARY REPORT into February’s plane crash at Cork Airport, which killed six people, has found that there were no mechanical faults in the plane.

Investigator Leo Murray outlined that no failures in the airframe or the facilities at Cork Airport, during the flight or at the airfield, had been identified.

The report stated that on the third and final approach the plane deviated to the right of the runway at 400ft. The report outlined how power to the engines increased seven seconds before impact – at the same time a warning went off in the cockpit.

The Manx2.com flight from Belfast to Cork crashed after attempting to land in thick fog on 10 February.

Several factors into the crash are still being investigated, including the experience and training of the pilot and the co-pilot. The report said that the Commander had been “newly promoted” and First Officer of the flight “had recently joined the operation”.

The aircraft, a 19-year-old Fairchild Metroliner, underwent a full maintenance check the week before the accident.

The Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) has said that the report’s mention of the “limited” experience of those flying the plane has raised “very serious questions about the regulatory environment in European aviation”.The report said that the Commander had been “newly promoted” and First Officer of the flight “had recently joined the operation”.

Captain Evan Cullen, president of IALPA, said:

It (the report) suggests that the pilots on board the aircraft had relatively limited training and limited experience, and it is possible that both of these factors were contributory factors in the crash.

Capt Cullen also said there was a “very serious disconnect” in the situation which allowed a “loose relationship between a so-called virtual airline that takes passenger’s money, the company that supplies the aircraft and the company that operates the aircraft”.

Read the full preliminary report >

Additional reporting by Susan Daly

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