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UK Cleared Over 1968 Plane Crash.

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UK Cleared Over 1968 Plane Crash.

Old 25th Jan 2002, 02:49
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Post UK Cleared Over 1968 Plane Crash.

A 1968 plane crash off the east coast of Ireland which killed all 61 people on board was probably caused by corrosion or a bird strike, an inquiry has found.

The cause of the crash of Aer Lingus flight 712 has been a mystery for more than 30 years.

A 1970 report by Ireland's Department of Transport failed to explain why the four-engine Viscount aircraft crashed, but did not rule out that a British missile or unmanned aircraft could have downed it accidentally.

Today's report, compiled by a team of international experts at the request of Ireland's Public Enterprise Minister Mary O'Rourke, said a "structural failure" in the plane's tail probably had caused the crash.

"Possible causal factors are metal fatigue, corrosion, flutter (vibration) or a bird strike," it said.

"We have carefully examined all aspects of the tests conducted in the UK ranges and of the sea and air activities performed on that Sunday. It is our opinion that all theories involving the presence of another aircraft can be rejected," it said.

The plane took off March 24, 1968, from Cork, southwest Ireland, bound for London's Heathrow airport with 57 passengers and four crew on board. As it headed out to sea, it ran into difficulties.

Co-pilot Paul Heffernan, 22, sent out the final message: "12,000 feet (4,000 meters) descending, spinning rapidly."

The British Embassy in Dublin welcomed the report.

"It puts to rest once and for all misleading suggestions that the disaster was caused by a UK aircraft or missile," a spokesman said.

"The UK authorities co-operated fully with the international experts in their investigation."

O'Rourke said it might never be known exactly what caused the crash, but said the experts had recommended the file now be closed.
Old 25th Jan 2002, 19:16
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Speaking of which, I live in County Wexford off whose coast the Viscount crashed and have been researching this for some years.. .I wonder does anyone know if there's a copy of the tape of the traffic between Oscar Mike and Shannon and London ATC anywhere or if it's available on the net?
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Old 25th Jan 2002, 21:10
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I think the wreckage was discovered near Tusker Rock and one of many attempts at salvage resulted in the wreckage slipping into deep water and unrecoverable at that stage. One conjecture at the time was that a propeller slipped into ground fine pitch resulting in separation and subsequent damage to the airframe.

This happened once to a Cambrian Airways Viscount 701 resulting in a blade entering the skin in the area of the starboard toilet, just in front of the starboard tailplane. The aircraft landed safely.

Pure conjecture and food for thought. It least we know what didn't happen.

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Old 26th Jan 2002, 03:04
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The following. .<a href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=EI-AOM&btnG=Google+Search" target="_blank">http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=EI-AOM&btnG=Google+Search</a>. .provides a number of sites relevant to the incident.
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