Sunday 28 December 2014

Miraculous escape for pilot after helicopter crash in Offaly

Published 01/08/2014 | 16:47

The accident happened near the village of Kinnity in Co Offaly Photo: Micheal Coughlan
The accident happened near the village of Kinnity in Co Offaly Photo: Micheal Coughlan

A pilot had a miraculous escape after the helicopter he was flying came down in a field near a school in Offaly.

The accident occurred at around 4pm near the village of Kinnitty.

The pilot was the sole occupant of the helicopter and walked away from the scene of the crash, with only minor cuts and bruises.

The pilot was on his way to ferry recently married couple from the church in Kinnitty Co Offaly to their reception in Racket Hall Country House in Tipperary. 

Eyewitness Micheál Coughlan was one of the first on the scene of the crash.

He was driving back home from the wedding service when the accident occurred.

“I heard a helicopter’s rotating above us and then I heard a thump and I knew it was after crashing,” he said.

“When we got to the crash site, the pilot was wandering around looking a bit dazed. I asked him was he okay and he said he just had a scratch on his arm. Apart from that he was fine.”

The pilot was on his way to take the couple to their reception when the accident occurred.

“He was going to take them to their wedding reception in the helicopter," Micheál  said. "Guests from the wedding were having a drink in the pub across the road when the crash happened."

According to an eyewitness, the helicopter became trapped in some pylons just before it crashed.

It came down in a field near the local primary school in Kinnitty.

Emergency services were quickly on the scene to ensure that there was no fuel spillage.

The helicopter, which came down on its side, was badly damaged in the crash.

The Department of Transport’s Air Accident Investigation Unit is expected to carry out an investigation.

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