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Helicopter missing in the Mourne Mountains, & tributes to AJ

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Helicopter missing in the Mourne Mountains, & tributes to AJ

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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 19:34
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Helicopter missing in the Mourne Mountains, & tributes to AJ

With fatalities.

BBC News - 'Several dead' as helicopter crashes in Mourne Mountains

A number of people are feared dead after a helicopter crash in the Mourne Mountains in County Down on Saturday afternoon.
It is not known how many people were on board but local MLA Jim Wells said he believed that several had been killed.
He added that it had happened in an area known locally as Leitrim Lodge between Hilltown and Rostrevor.
Eyewitnesses reported that an aircraft was in distress in the area at about 1600 BST.
Police are leading the operation assisted by the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team.
A police spokesperson said that the Air Accident Investigation Authority had been informed.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 20:04
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Seems pretty serious indeed - 2 medevac helis, and 1 psni heli in attendance, multiple ground ambulances and mountain rescue teams also.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 20:17
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Mourne Mountains Accident

Not Haughey Air S76. We are all safely on the ground. Sincere condolences.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 21:54
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Terrible news. Sincere condolences.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 22:01
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Is the 109 confirmed ?
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 22:18
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confirmed:

Police said, however, that the exact nature of injuries was still being established after an aircraft went down in the Mourne Mountains in Co Down on Saturday.

Mountain Rescue teams and Coastguard are also involved in the search operation launched after reports that a light aircraft or helicopter had crashed at 4pm.

It is now believed a helicopter has crashed at the Leitrim Lodge picnic area near Hilltown in the mountain range.

Jim Wells, Democratic Unionist representative for the area, said the local community was shocked and now feared the worst.

''South Down has been hit by tragedies of this type over the years,'' he said. ''It looks like we have had another accident which looks like it has led to multiple deaths.''

The Mournes area is internationally renowned for its picturesque scenery. The mountain range, set on the coastline of south Co Down, is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The highest mountain in the range, Slieve Donard, is nearly 3,000 feet high.

But changeable weather patterns along the coast and the presence of the mountains have led to tragedy in the past.

In June last year three men were killed when their light aircraft crashed into a field near a private landing strip at Kilkeel, Co Down.

The pilot, Hugh McKnight, who was a 53-year-old former police officer, was returning from the TT races in the Isle of Man with Andrew Burden and Stephen Annett, both aged 24.

The coastal community has also been hit by fishing tragedies in recent years.

The death of four police officers killed when their police 4x4 vehicle crashed on a winding road near Kilkeel in November 2008 also shocked the local community.

Members of the public on Saturday spotted a helicopter in the Mournes area and believed its engine sounded abnormally loud.

The emergency services later received reports that an aircraft was in difficulties.

Chartered helicopter flights in the region are a relatively common sight, with golfing groups and wedding parties known to have used them in the past. There was no immediate confirmation of the nature of the tragic flight.

Emergency services were at the scene of the crash site on Saturday night and the area was cordoned off.

Air accident investigators have also been notified.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said the area is finding it difficult to come to terms with the news.

"On behalf of the people of South Down and those I represent, I offer my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the families of the bereaved at this most tragic time," she said.

"This is a terrible reality, almost too difficult to comprehend and we can only imagine it is all too real and awful for the families bereaved.

"I'm in no doubt that the people of South Down will stand in solidarity with those that have lost loved ones and the survivors of this most terrible tragedy.

"Sincere thanks and appreciation must go to all involved in the rescue and recovery operation which could take a little time because darkness has now descended."

The MP added: "Anybody with knowledge of the local landscape should give it to the police and emergency to help the rescue operation and lessen the anxieties and distress for all involved."

Danny Kennedy, an Ulster Unionist Party representative, said: "I was shocked to hear about the crash and am deeply concerned for the people involved.

"While there are no details as yet my thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and their families who must be deeply worried at this time."
Daily Telegraph

A number of people are feared dead after a helicopter crash in the Mourne Mountains in County Down on Saturday afternoon.
It is not known how many people were on board but local MLA Jim Wells said he believed that several had been killed.
He added that happened near in an area known locally as Leitrim Lodge between Hilltown and Rostrevor.
The aircraft is believed to have left St Angelo Airport in Enniskillen earlier on Saturday.
It is understood to be a medium-sized Agusta helicopter capable or carrying up to eight people.
Eyewitnesses first reported an aircraft in distress in the Mournes at about 1600 BST.
Police are leading the operation assisted by the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team, the Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service.
Keiron Tourish, reporting for the BBC from the scene, said a picnic area at Leitrim Lodge had been cordoned off.
A police spokesperson said that the Air Accidents Investigation Branch had been informed.
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said she was "very saddened" to hear of the crash.
"On behalf of the people of South Down and those I represent, I offer my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the families of the bereaved at this most tragic time."
initial indications appear to be Controlled flight into terrain

BBC Northern Ireland
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 10:05
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Here is a photo of the aircraft, taken earlier this year:


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Old 24th Oct 2010, 11:14
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There's a little bit of an update on BBC News now:
BBC News - Three dead after Mourne Mountains helicopter crash

Three people from south-east England have died in a helicopter crash in the Mourne Mountains on Saturday.
The dead are the pilot and two passengers who were in Northern Ireland for a day of shooting in County Fermanagh.
The PSNI is speaking to the Metropolitan Police about contacting the families of those who died.
Air accident investigators are due at the crash scene on Sunday morning.
The helicopter is believed to have taken off from Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, and crashed about 1600 BST on Saturday near Hilltown.
Mountain rescue teams, the Ambulance service and the Fire and Rescue Service were involved in the crash aftermath.
The helicopter crashed in an area known locally as Leitrim Lodge between Hilltown and Rostrevor.
It is understood to be a medium-sized Agusta helicopter capable of carrying up to eight people.
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said she was "very saddened" to hear of the crash.
"On behalf of the people of South Down and those I represent, I offer my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the families of the bereaved at this most tragic time."
RIP
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 15:14
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Initial indications appear to be Controlled flight into terrain
What initial indications are there?
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 18:20
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ST;

No indications whatsoever. Then again I've yet to hear of a 109 that could carry 8 people (legally anyway).

Straight away the uninformed speculation starts. I don't know why the AAIB bother, they should just read the posts from the "experts" here and in the general media.

I had a text naming the pilot earlier, if it is true then that pilot is a very experienced operator.

FF
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 18:25
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BBC TV news just now.

Weather reported to be good

Helicopter reported to be in trouble by persons on the ground, before crash.

Investigation continues
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 18:38
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A109 seating

FF
The early A109s have a seating capacity of 8. That's 2 up front, of course, and three not-too-wide seats at the rear of the cabin looking forward. Most cabin configurations feature two seats, rear facing and back-to-back with the front seats. So a total of 7.

However.... Agusta (used to anyway) had a bus-seat config that was a three place, again not-very-wide, bench seat forward facing, and picking up on the same hard points for the conventional quasi 'Club' seat. It wasn't very useful, frankly, and payload in the early models meant very short flights if you had 8 up (Not much fuel!)

The only use I saw it ever put to was for FOIs to sit and monitor the crew's performance............

just being a pedant! ~ VFR
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 18:59
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Liffy

If I'm not mistaken the photo above is taken at Barton which is where I think I saw it. Terrible shame.

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Old 24th Oct 2010, 19:02
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vfr440;

Thanks for that. You learn something new every day.

FF
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 19:10
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Terrible news.
The heli was booked in to land at Caernarfon Airport at 1700 L and there was no sign of it. Got a departure notice that they left EGAB at 1602 L therefore they must have crashed soon after. Horrible to think I was one of the last people to speak with the pilot.

Sincere condolences from the staff at Caernarfon Airport
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 20:54
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Anyone got any info on the pilot - please pm me. I work with a guy (757 captain) who is also am ATPL(h) and flies a private 109 out of surrey for a businessman. I don't know the reg of his machine. Condolences to all involved, won't make it any better for those concerned if it isn't my mate, but rather hoping it isn't
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 21:27
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757_Driver, I sadly know the Pilot...he wasn't a 757 Pilot but he was a good bloke.
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 21:32
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The pilot was named in the Daily Telegraph report: see post number 8, above.
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 21:47
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isnt the pilot named there referring to a different accident?
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 21:50
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Please read before you post! The pilot "named" in the Telegraph & BBC reports was the pilot of the IoM originating light aircraft which crashed in Kilkeel last June, NOT the pilot of the crashed A109. Sympathies to the families & friends of all concerned (for both accidents).
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