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

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
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

Commercial Litigation NQ+

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...

MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?