Monday 23 October 2017

McEvaddy brothers hit by jet crash

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

A Boeing 707 jet owned by Ulick and Des McEvaddy's airforce refuelling company Omega Air crashed and burst into flames late last week.

Three crew members are thought to have been slightly injured as the aircraft crashed when attempting to take off from the US navy base at Point Mugu in California. An investigation has been launched by US officials.

The low-profile military contractor uses converted passenger airlines to refuel airforce and navy jets.

The McEvaddy brothers borrowed €300,000 from Bank of Ireland to buy a beaten-up Pan Am jet in the early Eighties. It marked their first foray into aircraft and aviation refuelling.

The brothers gradually built up Omega Air into a massive company, with over 40 jets. While much of its business is in the US, it won a €180m five-year contract with the British RAF in 2008.

Although outsourcing refuelling to the McEvaddys is far cheaper than operating their own aircraft, the US military has just awarded a $35bn deal to Boeing to supply 135 new refuelling aircraft to the airforce.

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