Four killed in plane crash in Ireland

A family of three and a teenage friend perished after a tiny light aircraft crashed into one of the most inaccessible parts of the Wicklow mountains in Ireland.











The wreckage of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee single-engined aircraft was found in a Wicklow bog yesterday morning after disappearing off the radar at lunchtime on Saturday.



The victims were named locally as pilot Sharif Booz, his wife Margaret, who is from Newbridge in Co Kildare, and teenage son Ayman. A fourth victim, believed to be a friend of Ayman's, has not been named.



Emergency crew members recovered four bodies from the wreckage of the light aircraft.



Gardai confirmed that the remains of a mother, father, teenage son and his friend were discovered at Corriebracks.

It is understood that Mr Booz, an experienced pilot with several years' experience, had closed his flight plan -- telling Dublin air traffic controllers he was about to land -- as he made his final approach to Kilrush airfield in Co Kildare.



Had he left the flight plan open, the alarm would have been raised within half an hour of the plane going missing.



Mr Booz, who is understood to be in his 40s, left Gloucestershire Airport in his UK-registered aircraft shortly before 10am on Saturday for Kilrush airfield. His family and friend were travelling to Ireland for a weekend visit to his in-laws.



Dublin Air Traffic Control stopped monitoring their light aircraft shortly after 12.15pm, and it was last sighted over the Wicklow mountains shortly before 12.30pm -- about 20 miles from Kilrush airfield.



At 6pm, Ian Valentine, the airfield's operator, was contacted by a family member to see if the plane had landed. The family member immediately raised the alarm and a search was initiated.



It was called off as darkness fell, but a party of at least 40 people resumed the search at first light yesterday in the mountainous area from Corriebracks to Lobawn to Sugarloaf, which stretches south of the Blessington Lakes as far as the Glen of Imaal.



At 10am the aircraft was spotted at Corriebracks, near Hollywood, and two gardai and two paramedics were airlifted to the site, which is inaccessible by road.



Superintendent Michael Lernihan, who co-ordinated the search, said the nose and front part of the plane was embedded in the ground and would have to be dug out.



Operator of Kilrush airfield, Ian Valentine, yesterday said the pilot had been using the strip for the last six or seven years to visit relatives in Newbridge.



Mr Valentine said Mr Booz, understood to be from Egypt, was an experienced pilot who visited Ireland at least twice a year and had texted him earlier this week to say he expected to come to Ireland at the weekend.



But Mr Valentine said he would normally receive a call from the pilot the morning he was due to arrive, but that did not happen in this instance.



"The pilot texted me earlier in the week to say they'd be in on the weekend," Mr Valentine told the Irish Independent. "Normally I'd get a phone call on the morning but didn't get one. We're a private airfield with two or three flights a week, we're a grass airstrip so it's very weather dependent," he said.



"We didn't know until 6pm last night when the family contacted me to see if the plane landed. He closed his flight plan, which means he left everyone. Once he closes the flight plan it means he says he's okay and is going to land. If he hadn't the alarm would have been raised within half an hour."



The family, who lived at Church View in the village of Almondsbury near Bristol, were well-known in the area. Mr Booz, a Muslim, was involved in property development and the family was very supportive of the Church of England St Mary's Church in the village. His wife Margaret was a Catholic.



"Obviously this is a very sad occasion," a church spokeswoman said. "They're very well known. They are both very supportive of the church and everything in the village, and there's going to be quite a lot of sadness about this."



The Department of Transport Air Accident Investigation Unit confirmed that the four victims were taken to Naas General Hospital shortly before 4pm yesterday. The remains of the aircraft will be taken to Gormanstown in Co Meath for technical examination.



The Air Accident Investigation Unit is likely to ask its UK counterparts to take part in the probe.

This story was originally published on the Belfast Telegraph

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence