Defence Forces investigates how rear door of AW139 helicopter became detached.

Date Published : May 21st, 2020    Published By : admin

The rear door of an Air Corps AW139 helicopter had detached from the aircraft during a flight.

The incident happened at approximately 5.52pm this evening as it was flying over Clondalkin, Co. Dublin while en route to Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel.

The Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) helicopter had successfully completed a life-saving mission to a Dublin hospital and were returning to Baldonnel for fuel when the rear door came off the helicopter.

The door landed in Moyle Park, Clondalkin. The Defence Forces said nobody on the ground, or in the air, was injured in the incident. The area in which the door fell was secured by Defence Forces personnel and An Garda Síochána within five minutes of the incident and an investigation team were on scene within thirty minutes.

The door will be removed and transported to Baldonnel once the area is analysed.

The EAS service will recommence tomorrow, as normal, with a replacement aircraft and crew and a full investigation will be conducted into the cause of this incident.

A similar incident occurred in March 2009 when a side door of a helicopter carrying the then Minister for Tourism Martin Cullen from Killarney, Co. Kerry to Dublin.

Mr. Cullen who was flying with an assistant and a crew of three had just taken off from the grounds of Malton Hotel Killarney when the left door of the helicopter, a AW139, fell off at a height of 150 meters while flying over Killarney National Park.

Nobody was injured in the incident.

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