Man arrested in connection with helicopter crash released

The aftermath of the helicopter crash in Longford (Steve Humphreys)
The aftermath of the helicopter crash in Longford (Steve Humphreys)

A man arrested in connection with a helicopter crash in Longford has been released without charge.

The pilot, a British businessman in his 60s, was arrested by gardaí in Dublin Airport and taken to Longford Garda Station. He was questioned before being released without charge.

Two people aboard the helicopter escaped serious injury when the aircraft clipped the side of a pub and crash-landed. 

Video footage emerged which shows the moment the helicopter - while attempting to land - clips the side of the Rustic Inn and crash-lands. 

The passenger was named locally as David Bruton, who is involved in the Abbeyshrule airfield. The pilot is said to have more than three decades of flying experience.

Gardaí, the Air Accident Investigation Unit and the Irish Aviation Authority are investigating.

"The issue of endangerment is being looked at in a big way here by gardaí. The pilot tried to land the helicopter in a very small, tiny, parcel of land and obviously it crashed into the back of a pub," a source explained.

"It is a miracle that no-one was killed or seriously injured."

A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.