Strong winds con­trib­uted to Car­ling­ford he­li­copter crash

The Argus - - NEWS -

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.

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