The pilot had refuelled EI-ONE at about 17.15 hrs at Kerry Airport (EIKY), and had planned to return to Tralee Racecourse, where three passengers were awaiting collection and return to Dublin. EI-ONE departed EIKY at 17.38 hrs with a planned routing initially to the west and onward to Tralee.
At 18.07 hrs, a woman living in the southern lee of the feature Croaghskearda, which is located in the townland of Lisdorgan, near Lispole, Dingle, Co Kerry, made a 999 call advising that she had heard a helicopter flying low over her house, in very poor weather conditions, and that shortly thereafter she heard a very loud bang, followed by complete silence.
In a follow-up search by locals, helicopter wreckage was found on the south side of the Croaghskearda and was later identified by the Dingle GardaÃ as EI-ONE. The pilot was fatally injured on impact. A post accident fire consumed most of the wreckage.
The probable cause of this accident was the pilot’s inability to maintain clearance from terrain after inadvertently entering Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) during Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight.
Two Safety Recommendations were made during the course of the investigation.