Investigation reports into two accidents involving Air Corps aircraft in 2021

An Air Corps airplane had to make an emergency landing after the crew reported hearing a loud bang with smoke spotted streaming from the aircraft’s engine.

A safety investigation report said the two-person crew experienced “significant vibrations” in the cockpit along with a “loud grinding metallic noise”.

The aircrew of the Pilatus airplane then lost all engine power with an emergency oxygen system activated to ensure they were not overcome with smoke or fumes.

The plane had been on a training flight and was about fourteen miles from Air Corps headquarters in Baldonnel in Dublin when it ran into trouble.

The investigation report said: “Shortly after levelling off, the crew heard a loud bang and experienced significant vibrations and yaw with fluctuating torque.”

The instructor took control of the plane and used what power was still available from the engine to level off the aircraft.

As noise and vibrations “intensified”, black smoke could be seen coming from the engine with an oil slick covering the canopy of the plane.

“The aircrew experienced a loss of remaining engine power and completed the engine fire or mechanical failure in the air checklist and the engine was secured,” said the report on the 2021 incident.