Strong winds contributed to Carlingford helicopter crash
Three people out walking near Carlingford ran to escape the impact of a helicopter which crashed last March, according to the investigation to the crash in which 72 year old Donnie Marron and his son Dustin were seriously injured .
The investigation report by the Air Accident Investigation Unit found that strong rouge winds close to the landing site beside Mr Marron’s house south of Carlingford contributed to the accident.
Investigators said Mr Marron, whose brother, Sunday World editor Kevin Marron was killed in aircrash in November 1984, and his son were very lucky to survive the crash.
The helicopter had left Derryogue airfield outside Kilkeel on Sunday March 12, 2017 at 5.05pm and Mr Marron told investigators that as he flew along the northern shore of Carlingford Lough, ‘ the weather became very windy and extremely uncomfortable’ and he decided to fly to his home near Carlingford as it was only ‘ three or four minutes away’ instead of going to the Slieve Croob airfield.
Witnesses described seeing the helicopter approaching the landing site beside Mr Marron’s house before control was lost and it make contact with the road surface before landing in dense trees and shrubs in a neighbour’s garden.
Mr Marron told investigators that as he got close to the site ‘something seemed to hit me like a squall and pushed me down’ while his son said they were landing ok but that ‘a draught or wind’ pulled them down and the helicopter went into a spin.
The investigation found that pilot’s licence and medical certification were valid as was the certificate of airworthiness of the helicopter.
The probable cause of the crash was by loss of control while approaching to land, with the susceptibility of the site to strong wind conditions as a contributory factor.