Last night two lucky Irishmen escaped within an inch of their life as their light aircraft lost power, eventually crashing into a ditch.
The two men, who’s names have not yet been released, had been conducting test flights of a 36-year-old Cessna 150 Aerobat plane at the Newcastle airfield, Co Wicklow, when they discovered engine failure.
They had successfully completed an initial 10-minute flight when they went up for a second test flight at about 8:00pm at which time the plane began to lose power.
An emergency landing was attempted but the aircraft came down short of the runway at the small airfield. It then crashed into a ditch. There was damage to the plane but both men were uninjured.
The 748kg aircraft was built in 1976 and registered to a British company in the UK.
A spokesman for Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit said that the badly damaged aerobatic plane had been transported to a hangar and would be inspected today.
He also said that an immediate investigation into the incident would be launched. The plane never caught fire, but Police and a number of fire engines were dispatched to the scene as is routine for these types of situations.