Seven-year-old boy and pilot `critical' after Offaly air crash

AN EYEWITNESS WHO was out walking near the scene of yesterday afternoon's light aircraft crash in Co Offaly has said he saw the craft plunging "vertically down" from the air before striking the bog below.

In Ireland on Sunday evening, may 13, after the landing of parachutists crashed the plane, killing the pilot and those on Board the child.

All 16 jumped from the plane, but it crashed in bogland shortly afterwards.

"There were two people on board, the pilot and a seven-year-old boy". Their bodies were taken from the wreckage last night.

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The plane was partially submerged in the bog.

Mr Slattery had mistakenly believed it was a stunt and said he expected the plane to pull up but that never happened. When it got near the tree line a saw the tail moved a bit but I heard a thump then and that was it.

"I heard a awful roaring and it went straight down like a torpedo", Jimmy Slattery said.

"I've seen them thousands of times", he said. The site of the crash is located between Daingean and Edenderry, not far from Mount Lucas. "That roar will live with me for a while".

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He immediately rang 999 and the parachute club to let them know the location of the crash site.

Bowditch was an experienced pilot and flight instructor and was a regular at the Irish Parachute Club in Clonbullogue.

"People would be over there all the time, especially at weekends in the summer, a lot of people parachuting and a lot of fundraising jumpers".

Fellow Offaly councillor Noel Cribbin said: "This is a big shock to the area".

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  • Israel Montgomery