Sunday 18 November 2018

Probe to establish why family's airplane crashed into mountain

The fuselage of the Piper PA-28 light aircraft that crashed on Church Mountain, Co Wicklow,
killing the four occupants is lifted from the site by an Army Air Corps helicopter
The fuselage of the Piper PA-28 light aircraft that crashed on Church Mountain, Co Wicklow, killing the four occupants is lifted from the site by an Army Air Corps helicopter
Rescue services at the scene of the incident
Rescue services at the scene of the incident
Charlie Froud and Ayman Booz, both aged 14, who died in the plane crash in the Wicklow mountains at the weekend
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

INVESTIGATORS attempting to establish the cause of the Wicklow plane crash in which four people died over the weekend will today begin examining the remains of the aircraft.

Yesterday, an Army helicopter lifted the four-seater Piper PA-28 from Church Mountain, at Corriebracks, near Hollywood, before transporting it to the Department of Transport's Air Accident Investigation Unit at Gormanstown in Co Meath.

A full technical examination of the aircraft will take place today.

Investigators expect to issue a preliminary report into the cause of the crash by the end of November, with a full report to follow later in the year.

Mystery still surrounds what caused the light aircraft to crash into the mountain on Saturday, claiming the lives of experienced pilot Sharif Booz, who was in his mid-50s, his wife Margaret O'Kennedy Booz, from Newbridge in Co Kildare, also in her 50s, and their 14-year-old son Ayman Booz.

Charles Froud (14), a friend of Ayman's, was also killed in the crash.

All four victims lived in Bristol, in the UK.

The Piper PA-28 light aircraft took off from Gloucester, in England, on Saturday morning at 10am and was due to land at Kilrush airfield in Co Kildare shortly after 12.30pm. The alarm was raised when the plane had still not reached the airstrip by 7pm.

Following a massive search operation, the wreckage of the aircraft was discovered by a mountain rescue team but there were no survivors.

Post-mortem examinations were carried out on the remains yesterday and are expected to be concluded today.

Holiday

Grieving relatives of the Booz family and Charlie Froud said yesterday they did not want to talk about the tragic accident.

Mr Booz's eldest son Sammi (20) is an architecture student at Nottingham University.

His nephew, Yousef (26), a doctor based in Ireland, said the trip had been a holiday visit to Mr Booz's second home.

"He usually calls us when he arrives there. We called him and we never got a call back," he said.

He said his uncle had been a pilot for several years and described him as a "lovely person who was well known in the community''.

Mr Booz ran the letting agency Millar House Management, based in Almondsbury, where the family had lived for the past 12 years.

Neighbour Audrey Rosser (65) said: "They were a lovely family -- life is so unpredictable, they're not here any more and I don't believe this.''

Mrs Booz has been described as a "pillar of the community'' who helped with the local cubs and scouts group. Neighbour Judith Tunnicliffe (42) added: "We knew them for two years and I would describe Margaret as one of the kindest people you could meet.''

A memorial service was held at St Mary's Church in Almondsbury last night.

Friends of the two teenagers, who both attended Marlwood School in Alveston, posted messages on their Bebo sites.

One message on Ayman's profile said: "Rest in peace, you and your family will be missed by everyone.''

Another said: "Rest in peace, from all us boys. we all love and wish we cud just speak to you that one last time. I'm sorry I never got to tell you how much you meant to us but I'll see you someday.''

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