Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Light Aircraft Accidents.

Tuesday, 8 May 1990

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 398 No. 4

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  31.  Mr. Ryan  Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan   asked the Minister for Defence  Information on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Zoom on Brian Lenihan Snr.   if he will report on the investigations, if any, carried out by the Air Corps on its fleet of Cessna light aircraft following a number of recent incidents with this type of aircraft.

Mr. Lenihan: Information on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Zoom on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Separate courts of inquiry were set up by the military authorities to investigate two recent accidents involving Cessna aircraft. The courts of inquiry have not yet reported.

Mr. Ryan: Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  These two near misses are very disturbing and thankfully the crews were uninjured but as a follow up would the Minister inform us of how many such aircraft are in existence, how old they are and what mechanical checks are carried out on same?

[867]Mr. Lenihan: Information on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Zoom on Brian Lenihan Snr.  They are in efficient order but as the Deputy says they are also fairly old. Let me give him the full facts. There are eight in total of which six remain, leaving aside the two involved in the accidents. They were all purchased in 1973. Therefore, a case can be made for looking into the matter thoroughly and this is why the courts of inquiry were set up. I have ordered them to go into this matter very thoroughly because prima facie it is disturbing that two accidents should occur so quickly involving two separate aircraft.

Mr. Ryan: Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  Can the Minister tell us whether the other six aircraft have been withdrawn from service and, if not, why?

Mr. Lenihan: Information on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Zoom on Brian Lenihan Snr.  The first thing they did was to investigate the other six and there is no evidence of any general or technical problems with them. They are now trying to discover the cause in regard to the two involved in accidents. It is being thoroughly examined.

Mr. Ryan: Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  There should be a reallocating of funds to replace them.

Mr. Lenihan: Information on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Zoom on Brian Lenihan Snr.  The Deputy is reallocating funds at a great rate today.


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