Sunday 21 January 2018

Helicopter piloted by brother of Louis Walsh crash lands in car park in US

X-Factor judge Louis Walsh
X-Factor judge Louis Walsh

Tom Shiel

A brother of Irish X-Factor judge Louis Walsh has had a lucky escape after the helicopter he was flying crash landed in the United States.

Joe Walsh (55), from Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo, was flying a Robinson R44 helicopter when it came down in the car park of an apartment complex in Chatham, New Jersey.

Mr. Walsh has been praised by police for the manner he carried out the emergency landing around 6.30pm on Friday evening last without causing serious injury or loss of life.

A spokesperson for Chatham police told local reporters: "I think the pilot did a wonderful job landing this helicopter where he did and could have averted catastrophe."

Both Mr Walsh and his passenger escaped uninjured although they did require medical attention.

A local woman who witnessed the crash, which occurred about three miles from Morristown Airport, New Jersey, said afterwards: "I feel like there were angels looking out for a lot of people today."

News that Mr. Walsh and his passenger are safe and well has been welcomed in the businessman's home town of Kiltimagh where his mother, Maureen, still lives.

A member of the Walsh family has revealed that Joe was on his way home to New Jersey after picking up the helicopter when the accident occurred.

Helicopters piloted by Joe Walsh are a familiar sight in Mayo skies.

Joe is a director of Connacht Helicopters Limited which flies regularly into and out of Ireland West Airport Knock.

Joe's brother Louis admitted in a recent newspaper interview that when his brother flies his chopper over Kiltimagh everybody thinks its him (Louis).

"Joseph lives in New Jersey but he comes home all the time," said Louis.

"He has a helicopter and flies around the place and everybody thinks it's me."

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