Air crash investigations into death of two Irish pilots to resume

Air crash investigations into death of two Irish pilots to resume

Two pilots from Co Meath, Brian Keane (69) and Paul Smith (58), died yesterday when their plane crashed into the Blackstairs Mountain range on the Carlow/Wexford boarder.

Air crash investigators will this morning resume their examination of the scene.

The area where the aircraft crashed is not accessible by foot or four wheel drive.

Investigators and recovery teams will continue to be dropped off at the scene by Rescue 117, the Coastguard helicopter based at Waterford airport.

Mr Keane and Mr Smith took off from Athboy Aerodrome in Ballyboy shortly after 10am on Sunday.

Bryan Keane

Mr Smith, who made trophies for a living, and Mr Keane, chairperson of Athboy credit union, boarded the plane with two pet dogs, who also died in the crash.

There were no reports of any distress signal being sent out before the accident.

A hillwalker reported the crash to gardaí after finding the wreckage in a remote location on the Blackstairs Mountains.

Weather conditions at the time of the crash were said to be good, and it is expected to be some time before a cause is known.

Gardaí, members of South East Mountain Rescue as well as the Air Accident Investigators are co-ordinating  the operation from a base in the village of Kiltealy.

Reports indicate that the remains of the two men were recovered from the crash scene as darkness fell last night.