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Report into Birr plane crash found ‘no technical defect’

Flying instructor Niall Doherty and trainee Damien Deegan died in the crash last month.

The scene of a light aircraft crash in Birr, Co Offaly.
The scene of a light aircraft crash in Birr, Co Offaly.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A PRELIMINARY REPORT into the crash of a Cessna 150 plane in Birr, Co Offaly that killed two men has been released by the Air Accident Investigation Unit.

Flying instructor Niall Doherty from Roscrea was giving trainee Damien Deegan from Crinkle a lesson on 11 November 2012. During the climb of the plane at around 4.44 pm “witnesses heard the engine stop and saw the aircraft make a steep descending turn to the left before disappearing from view,” the report found.

Emergency services were called but it took almost an hour and a half to locate the accident site because the plane was black and it was dark outside.

Fatally injured

Both occupants of the plane were found fatally injured.

The report also found that the light aircraft impacted the ground head on with wings level. The cabin had been crushed and the fuselage remained attached only by cables.

However, no technical defect that might have contributed to the accident was found by the report.

The ongoing investigation will include further examination of the aircraft and engine as well as operational aspects and conduct of the flight.

Read: Investigations into plane crash which killed instructor and trainee pilot >

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Amy Croffey

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