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Offaly plane crash which killed boy, 7, happened after pilot lost control on steep turn


A plane crash that killed a seven-year-old boy happened when the pilot lost control on a steep turn, a report has said.

Tragic youngster Kacper Kacprzak was a passenger on board the small airplane when it hit the ground two kilometres from the Irish Parachute Club Aerodrome near Clonbullogue, Co Offaly on May 13, 2018.

English pilot Niall Bowditch, 47, was also killed in the tragedy during his fifth parachuting flight of the day.

The report from the Air Accident Investigation Unit Ireland was released on March 20 and believes that the crash happened due to a loss of control in a sharp left-hand turn.

It says: “The Investigation determined that the probable cause of the accident was a loss of control in a steeply banked left-hand turn, leading to a rapid loss of altitude.



Gardai at the entrance to the scene of the aircraft crash in Clonbuloge, Co Offaly on May 14, 2018

The Investigation interviewed the 16 skydivers who had been on board the aircraft when it left on what was its final journey and several were wearing helmet cameras.

The report says: “The skydivers were asked whether or not they had seen the aircraft after they exited it. Some skydivers saw it briefly, but most did not notice it.

“The skydivers were also asked to recall any interactions they had with the Pilot.

“Some had not interacted with him, so could not comment.

“Nearly all of those who commented had positive impressions of the Pilot.



The G-KNYS aircraft which crashed in Co Offaly. The photo was taken in Germany on April 21, 2018.

“In relation to flying technique, one of the 16 skydivers said that the Pilot performed‘sharp turns as opposed to smooth turns more than once’.”

The post mortem of both Mr Bowditch and little Kacper showed that the cause of death was massive generalised trauma.

They were correctly wearing their five point seat belts but the force of the impact proved fatal for both.

The AAIU made four safety recommendations that should be implemented.

These include The Irish Parachute Club including specific procedures regarding the leasing of aircraft for operations at the club and to ban carrying passengers who are not needed on board for the flights intended purpose.

The Parachuting Caravan Leasing Pty Ltd and the Irish Aviation Authority have also been asked to revise their aircraft leasing arrangements to ban unneeded passengers.



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