|Quoting Galway Independent 11/07/07:|
Air accident investigators prioritize Connemara crash
Air accident investigators have prioritised the investigation into the Connemara plane crash, which claimed the life of Loughrea Accountant Paul McNamee and Dublin pilot Matt Masterson last week. Seven other businessmen, all associated with the Clifden Airport Company, were injured when the Cessna plane crashed last Thursday afternoon. The single-engine aircraft landed on its nose at Aerfort na Minna in Indreabhan, Connemara. All passengers on board were returning from a meeting on Inis Meain when the tragedy struck. They had been looking into purchasing the plane. One of the passengers is in a serious condition at University College Hospital Galway (UCHG) , while another has been transferred to St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin. Four men are in a stable condition while another has been discharged from hospital. Chief Accident Investigator, Jurgen Whyte, told the Galway Independent that other investigations will “take a back seat” due to the serious nature of the crash, The cause of the crash won't be known until the investigation is complete and Mr Whyte said they are looking into all aspects, including the weather, to determine what happened to the fatal flight. "Over the coming weeks, we will be interviewing directly involved in the operation of the aircraft, eyewitnesses, and will be looking at any radar pictures from Shannon," he explained. While the weather may not have been a determining factor in the crash, pilots must make decisions based on prevailing conditions. "On a windy day, there is a requirement for an aircraft to land into the wind," said Mr Whyte. "It's not unusual for an aircraft to come in over a field and do an orbit or circle and, depending on the wind direction, the pilot will come into the runway for an 'in to the wind' landing. Wind would not stop a plane from landing," he confirmed. Mr Whyte said that, without radar, it's up to the pilot to align the plane correctly for landing. Meanwhile, the plane wreckage was recovered from the accident site late on Saturday evening and removed to the Department of Defense facility in Gormanstown, County Meath. The truck carrying the wreckage was unloaded in the presence of AAIU inspectors, along with inspectors from the Cessna Aircraft Company, who manufactured the aircraft.