Lucky duo escape Birr plane crash

Two people have escaped with their lives following an aircraft crash in Birr yesterday (Wednesday).

It’s understood the single engine Samba XL plane, which was carrying its full capacity of two people, visited Birr airfield from Abbeyshrule in Longford.

Soon after taking off from Birr the light aircraft lost altitude and it came down in a field in Crinkle shortly before 4.30pm. 

Both passengers were taken to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore with non-life threatening injuries. The aircraft has been recovered for analysis by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU).

Speaking to the Offaly Independent air accident inspector with the AAIU Paddy Judge said locals saw the small plane lose altitude quickly after taking off from Birr airfield before it “vanished into a field”.

He added that the fact the plane was a small, light craft travelling at a slow speed worked in the crash survivors’ favour.

Cathaoirleach of Birr Town Council John Carroll said it’s his understanding that both people on board the plane were experienced pilots who had visited Birr regularly.

The aircraft was removed from the accident site by the AAIU late on Wednesday night, with plans to take the wreckage to its base in Gormanstown, Co. Meath, for analysis today.

This week’s crash comes just over seven months after a November 11 crash in the area that claimed the lives of Niall Doherty from Roscrea and Damien Deegan from Crinkle.