Official investigation reports into Air Corps engine failure and close encounter between garda helicopter and drone

An Air Corps plane had a near miss after it suffered a loss of engine power while getting ready for take-off at Baldonnel.

An investigation report said it was only good fortune that the aircraft had been carrying out taxiing practice or else the engine failure could have occurred during take-off or shortly after leaving the ground.

The report said the incident was considered of the highest category of seriousness.

The aircraft was a Britten Norman Defender, which entered service in 1997, and is operated along with the Department of Justice for garda operations.

The report said: “Prior to reaching the holding point for Runway 05, the crew elected to conduct taxiing practice prior to take-off.

“It is likely that had this not been conducted, the aircraft would have experienced the loss of power on the number 2 engine while lining up on the runway, during the take-off roll or shortly after becoming airborne.”