Wednesday 18 July 2018

More than €20k raised for families of 'one in a million' pilot and boy (7) killed in Offaly plane crash

Seven-year-old Kacper Kacprzak and UK pilot Niall Bowditch Photo: GoFundMe
Seven-year-old Kacper Kacprzak and UK pilot Niall Bowditch Photo: GoFundMe
One of the victims has been named locally as Kacper Kacprzak, a pupil at Sacred Heart of Jesus NS in Blanchardstown, Dublin.

Kyle Ewald

A GoFundMe campaign has been started for the families of the pilot and the young boy killed in the plane that crashed in Offaly on Sunday.

The campaign, which has raised nearly €22,000 in 19 hours, will be split between the families of the deceased, seven-year-old Kacper Kacprzak and UK pilot Niall Bowditch.

Allaiouti Hassan, who started the online campaign, said he originally started the page just for Kacper’s family, but “knew the funds and support should be shared with both families” after the overwhelming response from the public.

Mr Hassan told Independent.ie that the Irish Parachute Club has felt the loss of both individuals deeply: “Kacper basically grew up in the club, he was part of the family here. And Billy (Niall) was just such a gentleman and a one in a million pilot.

Tragic Kasper Kacprzac was killed when the Cessna aircraft crashed into bogland near Clonbullogue
Tragic Kasper Kacprzac was killed when the Cessna aircraft crashed into bogland near Clonbullogue

“Everybody is on the same page during such a difficult time. It’s going to be really hard for the families for a while and we can’t fix everything, but if we can offer support at least to help cover funeral costs and the costs of living for the next few months, it’s one less thing for the families to worry about.”

The plane nose-dived into a forest near Clonbillogue at about 2.30pm on Sunday.

Kris Kacprzak, Kacper’s father, is a regular instructor and parachutist with the Irish Parachute Club and jumped from the plane shortly before it fell to the ground.

“Kris is such a great guy and my heart breaks for him and his family,” said Mr Hassan. “He and Kacper loved to visit the club together and it’s just devastating that this could happen to their family.”

The shattered wreckage of the parachute club plane after it crashed in bogland near Mount Lucas, Co Offaly. Photo: Caroline Quinn
The shattered wreckage of the parachute club plane after it crashed in bogland near Mount Lucas, Co Offaly. Photo: Caroline Quinn

The bodies of Kacper and Mr Bowditch were recovered from the crash site in an isolated bogland just before nightfall at about 10pm on Sunday.

It is understood that the family of Mr Bowditch was due to travel from the UK to formally identify the body.

The aircraft was scheduled to land at Clonbullogue airfield, but lost contact at around 2pm. There is currently no suggestion that the pilot attempted to contact control or send out a distress signal when the aircraft ran into difficulty.

Investigators from the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) were continuing to examine the plane wreckage, which will be brought to the unit’s facility in Gormanstown for a thorough technical examination, but it may take up to several weeks to determine the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident.

The site where the wreckage of the crashed aeroplane was extracted from dense forest in Co Offaly. Photo: Colin Keegan
The site where the wreckage of the crashed aeroplane was extracted from dense forest in Co Offaly. Photo: Colin Keegan

You can donate to the GoFundMe page here

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