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Report into fatal 116 helicopter crash delayed

The Department of Transport said a review board has been set up to re-examine a number of findings in the draft final report of the investigation.

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Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, 45, Captain Mark Duffy, 51, and winchmen Paul Ormsby, 53, and Ciaran Smith, 38, all died when their Sikorsky S-92 helicopter crashed into Blackrock island off the coast of Mayo in 2017 (Irish Coast Guard/PA)

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, 45, Captain Mark Duffy, 51, and winchmen Paul Ormsby, 53, and Ciaran Smith, 38, all died when their Sikorsky S-92 helicopter crashed into Blackrock island off the coast of Mayo in 2017 (Irish Coast Guard/PA)

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, 45, Captain Mark Duffy, 51, and winchmen Paul Ormsby, 53, and Ciaran Smith, 38, all died when their Sikorsky S-92 helicopter crashed into Blackrock island off the coast of Mayo in 2017 (Irish Coast Guard/PA)

A report into the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 116 helicopter crash off the Mayo coast in 2017 has been delayed, it has been confirmed.

The Department of Transport said a review board has been set up to re-examine a number of findings in the draft final report of the investigation into the crash.

Four members of the Irish Coast Guard air crew died in the Rescue 116 crash in March 2017.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, 45, Captain Mark Duffy, 51, and winchmen Paul Ormsby, 53, and Ciaran Smith, 38, died when their Sikorsky S-92 helicopter crashed into Blackrock island off the coast of Mayo.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) was due to publish the final report of the investigation but it has been delayed following the request of a “stakeholder”.

The review board will be entirely independent in its work in accordance with the relevant legislation.Department for Transport

An interim report was published by the AAIU on March 16 2018 and a subsequent interim statement on March 1 2019.

In September last year, the AAIU issued its draft final report to interested parties.

Under current legislation, all interested parties were given 60 days to review the draft final report and offer comments.

The law also allows a person served with a draft final report to ask for a re-examination of any findings and conclusions in the report that appear to “reflect adversely on the person’s reputation or on the reputation of any person”.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said: “Such a notice was served on the Minister (Shane Ross) by an interested party.

“Having reviewed the notice, it was decided that the ‘notice of re-examination’ met the criteria set out in the Air Navigation Regulations for establishment of a review board.

“The minister has now established a review board in line with the 2009 Regulations.

“The review board will be chaired by senior counsel Patrick McCann who will be assisted by an independent expert member.

“The review board will be entirely independent in its work in accordance with the relevant legislation.”

PA