A pilots' organisation claims the factors that led to a fatal helicopter crash off the Mayo coast in 2017 still exist.

The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association said it is concerned an accident could happen again if the causes contributing to the crash are not comprehensively addressed.

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

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Captain Mark Duffy and winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith all died when their Sikorsky S-92 helicopter crashed into Blackrock island..

It is understood that inaccurate charts and risk of fatigue were among some of the contributing factors in the tragic crash.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit is due to publish a report in the coming months.

The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association has urged the Irish Government to make changes to the state regulator, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

IALPA president Captain Evan Cullen claimed there are serious issues with the corporate structure of the IAA - as it has both a safety regulatory function, and a commercial agenda, and says these two are separate in all other western jurisdictions.

 

He added that the reasons behind the crash “are still out there”.

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