Tuesday, 8 May 1990
Dáil Éireann Debate
31. Mr. Ryan asked the Minister for Defence 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. 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?
Mr. Lenihan: 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. Lenihan: 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.
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