Plane flips upside down after landing on Derry beach

It’s understood the pilot escaped with only minor injuries including a cut on his head.

Plane flips over after crash-landing on popular NI beach

Brett Campbell

A plane has crashed on a popular beach in Northern Ireland.

Witnesses have described their shock after seeing the aircraft flip upside down as it attempted to land on the sandy shore of Magilligan Beach in Co Derry on Saturday.

It’s understood the pilot escaped with only minor injuries including a cut on his head.

“It was pretty shocking,” one beach goer said.

"It came in to land on a clear stretch and then it just flipped over – everyone just ran over to help.”

Tony Fitzpatrick (53) had been enjoying a steak and Guinness pie at a bar on Magilligan Point with his wife Sharon (49) shortly before the crash.

"We must have come out just after it happened – we saw an object in the distance and decided to go over for a nosey,” he explained.

Plane flips upside after landing on Co Derry beach.

"We’d actually been surfing at Benone Beach just up the road with The Wave Project charity and thought it looked like kitesurfing from the distance.

"As we approached we saw it was actually a plane which had flipped over.”

The Belfast-based couple rushed to the scene where around eight others were digging sand out of the propeller and trying to flip the aircraft back over.

"The pilot had already exited the plane and seemed alright – he had a bit of a cut on his head though,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

"Someone had tied rope around the tail and there was a bit of a tug of war going on.

"From what I gathered the plane was trying to land on the sand, but hit a soft patch.”

A frantic effort to get the plane back up on its wheels ensued as the tide continued to come in.

"A couple of kayakers came into shore to help too – the pilot was panicking and seemed a bit shaken.

Plane flips over after crash-landing on popular Northern Ireland beach

"But we managed to get the plane up – it was certainly an experience and not something you see every day.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said he is just happy no one was seriously injured.

"I’m very glad the pilot is ok and no bystanders got hurt – although I think he’ll be out a few quid for the repair work,” he said.

“I think he was waiting for someone to come and tow the plane away.

"But we had to leave so have no idea how that played out.”

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