Boy, 7, killed in plane crash minutes after skydive dad leapt out with parachute

The skydiving father of a seven-year-old boy killed in a light aircraft crash made a scheduled jump from the plane just minutes it went down.

The child died alongside an experienced British pilot after the aircraft plunged into bog land in Co Offaly, Ireland on Sunday afternoon.

Just minutes before the plane went down 16 parachutists all left the aircraft and successfully landed on the ground.

The aircraft had taken off from Clonbullogue airfield around two kilometres away at around 2.25pm. The facility is popular with skydivers.

The bodies were recovered from the wreckage on Sunday night and taken for post-mortem examinations to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore.


Local councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick said: "His father was jumping out of the plane."

He said the pilot had been hired by the Irish Parachute Club since their own plane was being serviced. He was from the UK.

Mr Fitzpatrick added: "He was a very competent and experienced pilot."

The club said it was "deeply saddened" and confirmed the aircraft had been operating on its behalf.

It thanked the emergency services and investigators.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit examined the scene on Monday.

Mr Fitzpatrick said the airfield had a long-established reputation for parachuting.

"People would be over there all the time, especially at weekends in the summer, a lot of people parachuting and a lot of fundraising jumpers," he said.

"It’s a great shock to hear of an accident like that happening."

Fellow Offaly councillor Noel Cribbin said these flights have been happening for the last 20 years and this is the first time he had heard of a plane going down.

A police spokesman said: "All 16 made their jump from the craft.

"However, witnesses then saw the aircraft crash shortly afterwards. There were two people on board, the pilot and a seven-year-old boy. The pilot is believed to be a UK national.

"The plane was later located a number of kilometres from the airfield crashed in bog land. A rescue/recovery operation is under way."

Councilor Fitzpatrick said the airfield has a long established reputation for parachuting.

"People would be over there all the time, especially at weekends in the summer, a lot of people parachuting and a lot of fundraising jumpers," he said.

"It’s a great shock to hear of an accident like that happening."

Fellow Offaly councillor Noel Cribbin said: "This is a big shock to the area.

"These flights have been happening for the last 20 years and this is the first time I’ve heard of a plane going down – it is very worrying."

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