Four people have been rescued after a plane was forced to crash land on a Co Wexford beach yesterday.
Air accident investigators will try to find the source of the technical fault which led to the forced landing of the aircraft.
Four people were subsequently rescued, with a pilot's "skill factor" being praised as imperative to further injury being avoided. The plane was guided to a narrow beach, avoiding nearby turbines and the open water.
This incident is currently being investigated by a team of three inspectors, sent by the Department of Transport’s Air Accident Investigation Unit.
Having been working to secure the piece of aircraft submerged in the water yesterday, today they will work towards ascertaining the source of the technical fault.
The aircraft's fuel system and engines will be examined.
Just after 5pm yesterday evening, the French-registered Vulcanair P68 twin-engine aircraft encountered difficulties close to Carnsore Point.
The aircraft then landed on the beach at around 5-10pm.
The aircraft hit the area of soft sand, bedding down, before it moved violently forward nose first into the sand. The cockpit suffered severe structural damage.
The four people on board were two women in their 30s and two men in their 20s and 50s. They were all taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries.
Two coast guard helicopters were deployed along with Dunmore East RNLI and the local coast guard unit to help with the rescue. Gardaí, Rosslare Coast Guard unit also attended the incident, as did the National Ambulance Service.
Barry O'Connor, pilot of the rescue and rescue helicopter 117 commented that the aircraft was in the sand by the time they arrived.
"done a great job"
The pilot received huge praise from aviation sources, who said that he was faced with an "immediate threat".
The source said, “This pilot was faced with a serious technical issue which presented an immediate threat to the safety of the aircraft and the passengers".
“The aircraft was over water and the pilot was obviously faced with a problem that required getting the aircraft on the ground as quickly as possible. It doesn’t look like they had time to get to an airport".
“The pilot appears to have done a great job by avoiding coming down on the water, and also avoiding large wind turbines which are close to the beach".
Footage from Atlantic Flight Training Academy’s Captain John Walton of today’s crash landing at Carne Beach off Carnsore Point. He heard the mayday call and, with Waterford Airport senior air traffic controller Donal Leahy, remained overhead until the CG heli arrived. @rtenews pic.twitter.com/FgmnBoTi6q— Paschal Sheehy (@PaschalSheehy) September 23, 2021