Belfast Telegraph

Survivors recall final moments

Aviation accident investigators included some details of interviews with the survivors of the Cork plane crash in their report.

The witness statements from five of the six people who lived to give recollections of the final moments of flight FLT400C have been reported anonymously.

Some of the survivors - Heather Elliot, Peter Cowley, Brendan Mallon, Mark Dickens, Donal Walsh and Laurence Wilson - said they could see how bad the weather was and how close the plane was to the ground.

One passenger said: "I do remember looking out and the ground was just feet from below us and it was grass, it was definitely not tarmac. And the pilot then gave the plane thrust, to come up out of the cloud. And at that stage the cloud was right to the ground.

"I feel that the plane... immediately after the thrust, veered to the right and tilted... the right hand of the wing caught the ground first and after that it was just mayhem. I couldn't breathe because all the mud had come up into the fuselage. I do remember pushing the mud away and then being able to breathe."

A second passenger said: "We came through the cloud or fog. We were probably no more than about 30ft off the ground. We seemed to be coming in at a bit of an obtuse angle.

"I was looking out the window, I sensed that we pulled up and banked hard to the right. As we banked, the wing I was sitting next to, the tip of the wing hit."

A third passenger recalled: "There was a big turn, I think to the right. I just remember feeling this huge shift to the right."

A fourth said: "It felt like the plane had gone at a ninety degree angle and was facing towards the ground."

A fifth passenger said as far as they could remember it felt like a normal landing before everything crumpled while a sixth survivor had no memory of the approach or the crash.

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