ENG06WA011
ENG06WA011

On September 7, 2005, a privately owned Robinson R44 helicopter, registration number EI-DOC, was on a visual flight rule (VFR)flight returning to its base near Galway Airport (GWY),Ireland having over-nighted in New Ross, Co Wexford, Ireland when it cashed into a mountainside. The flight was tracked by Shannon Radar, maintaining a direct flight path towards Galway. As the helicopter’s transponder was set to Alpha mode, the radar did not record the its altitude. Shortly before the accident, the pilot made a routine radio communication with another helicopter at Galway airport. This was the last known communication from helicopter. The Shannon radar plot shows the helicopter maintained its track passing over the Slieve Aughty Mountains and as it approached the summit area at Cashlaunrumlahan, its speed reduced significantly. The final radar returns showed a sharp turn to the right and the signal then disappeared.

The helicopter struck trees in the Slieve Aughty Mountains, northeast of Cashlaunrumlahan, Ireland followed by ground impact in a dense forest. The pilot used a mobile phone to raise the alarm. Two Galway-based helicopters responded, as did the Shannon-based Coastguard S61 and ground-based emergency services. The occupants were located and evacuated to hospital about one hour after the accident.

Preliminary examination of the helicopter shows no evidence of pre-impact failure. Several reports have been received by the investigation indicating poor visibility and low cloud in the area at the time of the accident. A total of three people were on board. Two fatalities and 1 serious injury were reported.


The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the government of Ireland. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU)
Department of Transport
44 Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel.: (353) 1 604 1293
E-mail: aaiu@transport.ie
Fax: (353) 1 604 1514
AFTN: EIDWYAYX
Website: http://www.aaiu.ie


This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information obtained for, or released by, the Government of Ireland.

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