The aircraft departed from Runway (RWY) 08 at Kerry Airport (EIKY) on a flight to Luton, England (EGGW). Shortly after take-off, the left hand windshield fractured and the crew requested a return to EIKY. Kerry Tower cleared the aircraft to return using a procedure to establish on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach for RWY 26. The aircraft initiated the procedure but then commenced a descent, in cloud, on a track approximately parallel to the ILS but 6 nautical miles (nm) south of it. A radar controller in Shannon, who had been monitoring but not controlling the flight, intervened by phone with Kerry Tower and directed that Kerry Tower should instruct the aircraft to climb immediately.
Contemporaneously, the aircraft’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) alerted the crew. The aircraft reached a lowest height above the ground of 702 ft before commencing a climb. Kerry Tower handed it over to a radar controller at Shannon for guidance onto the ILS but the aircraft encountered further navigational difficulties before landing. On subsequent technical inspection, it was also found that the No. 1 engine had sustained serious foreign object damage and that an engine change was required.