Helicopter down in Galway - three badly hurt

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Helicopter down in Galway - three badly hurt

Post by PaulR »

This is from the Independent Network News wire;

Three people are in critiical condition follow a helicopter crash in Galway.

The incident happened in the Derrybrien area of the country, this afternoon.

The helicopter is understood to have got into trouble, after losing contact with air traffic control at Shannon at ten past 12.

The three have been airlifted to Galway hospital where they are receiving treatment.

Best wishes to the pilot and passengers on a swift and full recovery.

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Post by tvpilot »

Three hurt in helicopter crash in Co Galway

09 July 2005 13:55

Three people have been injured in a helicopter crash in Co Galway.

The privately-owned helicopter crashed on a hillside near the village of Deryybrien shortly after midday.

Firemen using cutting equipment succeeded in releasing the men from the wreckage.

Two men are now being airlifted to hospital in Galway City by Coast Guard helicopter.

A third man is being taken to hospital by ambulance.

So far there is no indication of the seriousness of their injuries.

Garda? say they have launched an investigation into the accident.

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Post by EIDEL »

8) There are wind turbines up there :?:

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Post by The Termignator »

Pilot is reported to have suffered fatal injuries.

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Post by The Termignator »

Gardai have named the dead man as Mark Reilly, a publican from Galway. Helicopter is said to be a R44.

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Post by Bearcat »


My deepest sympathies to all involved.

A GALWAY publican and a pilot died in hospital yesterday after their private helicopter crashed into a heavily wooded area in Co Galway, leaving another passenger fighting for his life.

Mark Reilly, 49, owned the Front Door pub in Galway city and Tom Sheridan's pub on the outskirts of the city.

He died at Galway University Hospital yesterday afternoon. Pilot Damien Bergin died from his injuries a few hours later.

Mr Bergin was from east Galway and was involved in the construction industry. He had formerly worked as a car salesman.

The third man, also from Galway, is in a "critical" condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The trio were airlifted by the Shannon Coast Guard helicopter shortly before 1pm yesterday from a forest near Derrybrien, Co Galway, after rescue crews from the Galway, Loughrea and Gort fire brigades struggled for 15 minutes to free them from the mangled wreckage.

Rescue workers carrying heavy cutting equipment and fire extinguishers waded through mud and water to reach the trapped men. Highly-combustible aviation fuel was leaking from the wreckage but it was made safe.

It is understood the men had been attending the Tall Ships Festival in Waterford and were returning to

Galway on board a Robinson 44 four-seater helicopter when they encountered thick fog near Gort and flew into trees in the heavily wooded area. They lost contact with air-traffic controllers at Carnmore Airport minutes before the accident.
A spokesman for the Galway Fire Brigade said they received a call from a 999 operator at 12.08pm who had taken an emergency call - from either the pilot or one of the passengers - saying their helicopter had crashed and they were trapped inside.

"We think it was the pilot who rang, but the phone went dead," he said.

Gardai and ambulance crews were initially unable to find the crash site due to the density of the forest and a rescue helicopter was dispatched to find it from the air. Another helicopter, which was en route to Galway to refuel, quickly diverted to the last known location of the missing chopper and soon spotted the wreckage in thick forest, only 100 yards from an ESB wind farm construction site office.

The crash site, about 200 yards from a road known as 'the Black Road', was sealed off by gardai for examination by themselves and the Accident Investigation Unit of the Irish Aviation Authority.

ESB crews working on a wind farm in the area also sealed off access to prevent a repeat of the devastating landslide that occurred there in October, 2003. One of the first gardai to reach to scene was slightly injured as he attempted to free the injured men from the wreckage.

Supt Michael Mulryan of Loughrea said at the scene: "The helicopter was reported missing shortly after midday by controllers tracking it from Galway. Two helicopters arrived from Galway and one of them located the wreckage, which was only visible from the air. They led the emergency services to the scene."

As medics treated the injured on the ground, a Coast Guard chopper crew prepared to airlift the injured from the scene to hospital in Galway. An ESB safety official arrived at around 2.40pm and asked reporters, photographers and anyone not involved with the rescue operation to leave the area.

One local reported reported seeing a small black helicopter flying very low in the area some time after 11am.

He said: "I don't know if it was the same one but we thought it was going to hit one of the windmills."

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Post by Cosmic »

They won't tangle with anyone unfortunatley. Unless they libel someone they can say whatever they like, rightly or wrongly. Eye witness opinions, especially people with a non aviation background, are treated with a healthy dose of suspicion by accident investigators, as they are inclined to put one and one together and get three.

I do wonder though, if there was supposedly fog, how two other Helicopters managed to fly over the scence presumably within a short time of the accident and not get into difficulties themselves?

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Post by historical-avi-irl.i8.com »

I think we should all offer our commisseries to the affected families, many of the people on this forum may have known the family and pilot well...

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Post by scraggane »

I have done some study into the wake effect of wind turbines. Basically, you can get very strong vortices both downstream (up to 1km) and upstream of the machines. I don't know anything about flying helicopters but would assume that turbulent vortices might cause some difficulties. It may have been a factor. However, it was a mild day on Saturday and the turbines may not have been turning.

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Post by Flyer1 »

Firstly my condolences to the families of all those involved.

I heard something about they flew into cloud or something like that and then flew into the wind turbine.

Can anyone confirm that the machine was EI-DOC ?

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Post by mark »

Hi Flyer1,

Yeah it was EI-DOC, Robinson R44. Registered on September 3rd last year to an address in Oranmore, Galway.

My condolences to the families involved.


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Post by Rallye EIBFP »

EI-DOC? I'll miss that.

To all involved, i offer my upmost sympathies.

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Post by Dutch Roll »

think this thread should close until we know more as a mark of respect

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Post by Lionel Hutz »

Dutch roll, I agree that speculation should end, but would like to add that although I could not claim to know the pilot well, I met him once and did share a few pints with him at a wedding, where the subject of conversation between us was as you would guess all things aviation. He seemed like a decent amiable lad and I would have liked to get to know him better. Sincere Condolences to all the families and friends.

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Post by c nimbus »

Accident report is now published at

http://www.aaiu.ie/AAIUviewitem.asp?id= ... G&loc=1652


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