Saturday 23 September 2017

Barely qualified pilots were a combination that turned out to be lethal

The scene at Cork Airport where six people died and six others were injured after the plane crashed in fog on February 10, 2011
The scene at Cork Airport where six people died and six others were injured after the plane crashed in fog on February 10, 2011
Six people died and six others were injured when the Manx2 plane crashed in fog at Cork Airport. PA

Gerry Byrne

When 10 people boarded Manx2 flight 7100, a Fairchild Metro III, at Belfast Airport on the morning of February 11, 2011, they probably did so under the comforting assumption that responsible people in high places were making sure that they would arrive safely at their destination, Cork Airport.

They had bought their tickets from a company in the Isle of Man, which has the reassuring image of the UK's Queen Elizabeth II on its stamps. Their flight originated in the UK which in turn boasts one of the most highly regarded aviation safety regulators in the world, the Civil Aviation Authority. They were flying to Cork where aviation was regulated by another respected body, the Irish Aviation Authority, which in turn is responsible for the safety oversight of one of Europe's largest airlines, Ryanair.

So, no worries then? Wrong. By the time they reached Cork four passengers, and the two pilots, were dead, the aircraft was upside down and on fire, and the survivors were lucky to escape with their lives.

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