The pilot of a plane which made an emergency landing in the Colehill area on Saturday afternoon last, June 21, has been praised for saving the lives of four passengers on board.
The Cessna 206 aircraft was forced to land in a field shortly after taking off from Abbeyshrule Aerodrome when its engine apparently lost power.
In addition to the pilot, two charity skydivers and two skydiving instructors were on board. No one was injured in the incident, although the airplane sustained an unspecified amount of damage upon touching down.
Local man Tom Mullen arrived at the scene shortly after the plane landed and he told the Longford Leader it was a miracle no one was hurt.
“The pilot deserves a gold medal of the highest order for bringing the plane down safely and saving those people’s lives,” he said.
“It’s a credit to him and his skill as a pilot, the skydiving club, and Abbeyshrule airfield.”
Emergency services attended the scene and the aircraft was later transferred to Abbeyshrule Aerodrome by road, where it is currently being stored in a hangar for examination.
A spokesman for the Irish Aviation Authority confirmed that an investigation has now been launched to discover the cause of the problem which led to the emergency landing.
“The Air Accident Investigation Unit is carrying out an investigation so it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further,” the spokesperson added.
“However, we are delighted to hear that the pilot made a safe landing and that there were no fatalities.”