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Crash aircraft first manufactured in the 1960s

The Fairchild Metroliner involved in today's Cork airport crash is an American-built turbo-propeller commuter plane which has been in operation for more than four decades.

Developed in Texas, the aircraft has proved particularly popular with business travellers in the US and Australia.

Designed to accommodate around 19 passengers, the Metroliner was in production from the late 1960s to the late 1990s.

The Manx2 aircraft in today's accident dates from 1992 and was added to the fleet a few years ago.

David Learmount, operations and safety editor of Flight Global magazine, said: "The Metroliner is quite an old-fashioned aircraft by today's standards, as it's some years since any were produced.

"Although there is no suggestion there was anything wrong with the aircraft that crashed at Cork today, Metroliners have been involved in a number of accidents over the years.

"This is mainly because they are operated by regional airlines and regional airlines do have more incidents than the bigger airlines.

"In America in particular, working for a commuter airline is what you do to increase your flying hours to get a job with a big airline."

Mr Learmount went on: "The Metroliner is certainly not one of my favourite aircraft. It's had a whole load of aerodynamic bits put on to it over the years. It looks a bit like a hedgehog."

PA Media