The Cessna 208B aircraft took off from Runway 27 at Clonbullogue Airfield (EICL), Co. Offaly at approximately 13.14 hrs. On board were the Pilot and a Passenger (a child), who were seated in the cockpit, and 16 skydivers, who occupied the main cabin. The skydivers jumped from the aircraft, as planned, when the aircraft was overhead EICL at an altitude of approximately 13,000 feet. When the aircraft was returning to the airfield, the Pilot advised by radio that he was on ‘left base’ (the flight leg which precedes the approach leg and which is normally approximately perpendicular to the extended centreline of the runway). No further radio transmissions were received. A short while later, it was established that the aircraft had impacted nose-down into a forested peat bog at Ballaghassan, Co. Offaly, approximately 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 kilometres) to the north-west of EICL. The aircraft was destroyed. There was no fire. The Pilot and Passenger were fatally injured.
The Investigation determined that the probable cause of the accident was a loss of control in a steeply banked left-hand turn, leading to a rapid loss of altitude. Four Safety Recommendations are made as a result of this Investigation.