‘There was aloud bang then plane broke up’

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Peter Tawse (61), from Bushpark, Newbawn, Co. Wexford, and John Finnan, (56), from Naas, Co. Kildare, were both killed instantly when their Rollason Condor aircraft experienced catastrophic mid-flight complications during a flight that had taken off from Taghmon Airfield about 30 minutes earlier.

AN aircraft had emitted a loud noise, disintegrated in the air and began spiralling downwards, killing two men on board and completely destroyed the aircraft, witnesses to the fatal tragedy over Duncormick area on Sunday, October 6, reported to the Air Accident Investigation Unit.

Peter Tawse (61), from Bushpark, Newbawn, Co. Wexford, and John Finnan, (56), from Naas, Co. Kildare, were both killed instantly when their Rollason Condor aircraft experienced catastrophic mid-flight complications during a flight that had taken off from Taghmon Airfield about 30 minutes earlier.

Details of what occurred on the flight are contained in a preliminary report published last weekend by the Air Accident Investigation Unit. A more comprehensive and final report will be published when the investigation is fully concluded.

The accident aircraft was operated on an earlier flight which involved the same instructor and a different pilot.

a few tight turns, a few stalls and then mostly circuits

The earlier flight departed Taghmon Airfield (EIIF) at approximately 15.00 hrs, and was the first of a number of flights the other pilot planned to take as preparations for a licence flight (skill) test. The (other) pilot reported that his flight lasted approximately one hour and included “a few tight turns, a few stalls and then mostly circuits”.

The aircraft handling and performance throughout this flight were reported to be normal and no anomalies were noticed. Following the flight, the aircraft returned to the airfield.

After the aircraft returned from its earlier flight it was scheduled to do another flight – the accident flight.

The aircraft taxied out to the northern end of the airfield and, at approximately 16.10 hrs, was observed to take off to the south, before turning to the south-west and circling back around, climbing all the time.

complete normal take-off, a complete normal climb

The aircraft crossed to the north of the airfield and then turned south-west, continuing to climb and proceed in a south-westerly direction.

The aircraft was observed from the airfield until it went out of sight and it was described as a “complete normal take-off, a complete normal climb” to at least 3,000 ft.

At approximately 16.40 hrs, witnesses reported that the aircraft had emitted a loud noise and disintegrated in the air.

Locals and emergency services arrived quickly at the scene but both men had been fatally injured.

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