'We're gone' - last words from cockpit of Rescue 116 as report reveals 'rapid pitch up'
Report indicates the on board warning system did not have data related to Blackrock island
A preliminary report into downed Rescue 116 has revealed the coastguard helicopter 'pitched up rapidly' in its final seconds.
The report also revealed that the helicopter's on board warning system did not have data related to Blackrock island.
An obstacle data base on their system did not list the lighthouse on Blackrock, and the terrain database did not have information on the terrain on the island.
Audio data revealed Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and co-pilot Mark Duffy had discussed earlier in the flight that it had been a long time since either had visited the island.
It showed that the helicopter was in stable level flight at 200 feet on a track towards Blackrock in the moments before impact.
The warning system provided a callout of “ALTITUDE, ALTITUDE” 26 seconds prior to the initial impact.
Captain Dara Fitzpatrick identified the reason for the alert as a small island below the helicopter which she said was “just a small little island…”.
At the time of the aural alert FDR data placed the Helicopter in the vicinity of an outcrop of two rocks, Carrickduff and Carrickad, which are located approximately 0.65 nm to the west of the Blackrock.
In the final seconds, the helicopter pitched up rapidly, impacted with terrain at the western end of Blackrock and 'departed from controlled flight', the report states.
Read more: Full transcript of audio from Rescue 116
Audio from the black box revealed one of the crew members seated in the rear of the helicopter - either Paul Ormsby or Ciaran Smith - identified an island in front of the helicopter, and recommended a right turn:
"K…looking at an island just in, directly ahead of us now guys, you want to come right", he said.
The commander, Dara Fitzpatrick, responded: "OK, come right just confirm?"
The crew member then said to turn "about 20 degrees right".
The commander then asked the co-pilot, Mark Duffy, to 'select heading', which he confirmed by replying 'Roger'.
Just two second later the rear crew member was recorded as saying: "come right now, come right, COME RIGHT."
The last recorded audio from the flight deck was the co-pilot saying "we're gone".