Utterly harrowing
Irish Daily Mirror|November 06, 2021
Family of R116 pilot Dara call for changes after report into tragedy
JAMES WARD

THE family of a hero rescue helicopter pilot killed with her three colleagues have described a report into the crash as "utterly harrowing".

The investigation into the Irish Coast Guard chopper R116 smash that claimed the four lives identified “systemic safety issues”.

The helicopter crashed off Co Mayo on March 14, 2017, after it struck Blackrock Island, 12 miles off the coast.

The crew, flying in poor weather at night, were unaware of a 282ft obstacle on their flight path. Blackrock Island was not on their warning system.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, the commander of the flight, was pulled from the sea in the hours after the crash and never regained consciousness, while the body of Captain Mark Duffy, the co-pilot, was taken from the cockpit 12 days later by Navy divers. The remains of winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith were never recovered.

The report said the helicopter operator, CHC Ireland, did not have a "formalised, standardised, controlled or periodic” system in place to review flight routes.

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