Saturday 18 November 2017

'No mechanical anomalies identified' in initial analysis of data retrieved from Rescue 116

A member of the Irish Coast Guard looks out towards Blackrock Lighthouse Photo: Steve Humphreys
A member of the Irish Coast Guard looks out towards Blackrock Lighthouse Photo: Steve Humphreys
A Coast Guard boat searches the coastline around Blacksod Picture: Collins
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Initial analysis of the data retrieved from the Rescue 116 helicopter’s monitor system and flight recorder has revealed that no mechanical anomalies have been identified.

According to the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) into the downing of Rescue 116, the investigation is currently at a preliminary stage.

"However, an initial analysis has been conducted of the data retrieved from the helicopter’s Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) and the Multi-Purpose Flight Recorder (MPFR). No mechanical anomalies have been identified during this initial analysis."

The AAIU Investigation is ongoing and a preliminary report is expected to be issued in the near future.

An Irish Coast Guard Helicopter lifts off from Blacksod Pier Picture: Steve Humphreys
An Irish Coast Guard Helicopter lifts off from Blacksod Pier Picture: Steve Humphreys
The remains of Captain Mark Duffy of Rescue 116 is brought into Blacksod Pier, Belmullet, Co. Mayo from the LE Samuel Beckett
The Irish Coast Guard land at Blacksod Pier as the search continues for Rescue 116 along Blacksod coastline in Co Mayo Picture: Steve Humphreys

Last week, the air accident investigators confirmed that there are marks on wreckage recovered from the Coast Guard aircraft consistent with R116 striking rocks.

Read more: Investigation into downed Rescue 116 reveals marks 'consistent with aircraft hitting rocks'

The AAIU has again extended its condolences to the families and friends of the crew of Rescue 116 and "continues to work with other agencies to locate and recover the two missing crew members".

Divers recovered the remains of Captain Mark Duffy from the cockpit of the crashed helicopter last Sunday from the sea at Black Rock lighthouse.

Searches are continuing for the other crew members, Winchman Ciaran Smith and Winch Operator Paul Ormsby.

The fourth crew member, Capt Dara Fitzpatrick (45), was found by an RNLI lifeboat, but was later pronounced dead in hospital.

"The AAIU is mindful that Sikorsky S-92A helicopters are in operation around the world in a variety of roles, including Search and Rescue," read the statement.

"Following an event such as this, many operators and agencies are anxious to learn if any matters are identified during the ongoing investigation that may require immediate safety actions."

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