AN air accident investigation unit report into a plane crash that claimed the life of a Mayo man last year has been published.
Michael McCarrick (58), Ballina, lost his life when his BRM Land Africa craft (EI-EOH) crashed at Breaffy, on the Bonniconlon side of Ballina, at 5.14 p.m. on May 4, 2018.
The report concluded that the deceased lost consciousness, for which no reason could be ascertained, during the flight.
Howard Hughes, who headed the investigation, said the plane was kept in a hangar when not in use.
He said evidence gathered from aircraft records, witness statements, and examination of the aircraft, show that it had been well-maintained.
Witness statements indicate that the aircraft engine appeared to be operating normally.
This is confirmed by the video evidence, which showed the engine behaving normally throughout the flight.
Satted Mr. Hughes: “Prior to the accident, indications were that the pilot was in good spirits, rested, and not under any stress that might have affected his ability to operate the aircraft. The investigation was informed that the pilot did not suffer from any known sleep disorder.
“The pilot was on medication to reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
"Medicalrecords suggest that the medication was not adversely affecting the pilot.
"He was asymptomatic, and the AME, who was aware of the medication, had issued a valid LAPL medical certificate.
“The primary source of evidence indicating that the pilot became incapacitated was obtained from a compact video recorder recovered at the accident site.
“Prior to the accident, the pilot is observed operating the aircraft normally. The pilot is then observed becoming unconscious and slumping forward with his eyes closed, as the aircraft departed from straight and level flight, and began a descending left-hand turn.
“The pilot remained unconscious and therefore was unable to intervene to correct the aircraft’s flight path.
“The autopsy report determined that the post-mortem examination revealed no evidence of a reason for the loss of consciousness.”