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FIVE PEOPLE on a flight from Kerry to Jersey received mobile phone text instructions from a quick-thinking air traffic controller when he guided them in to a safe landing at Cork.
In what air accident investigator John Hughes described in his report yesterday as a “serious incident”, the twin-engined Piper plane lost all onboard electrical power, communications and weather radar soon after take-off from Kerry airport on November 7th last.
He paid tribute to the initiative of the air traffic controller, saying the loss of all aircraft electrics during a flight “is considered very serious”.
When he realised his problem the 39-year-old pilot, with four passengers on board, gained height and flew south. With a radio communications blackout on board, the pilot used his mobile phone to repeatedly try to establish contact with Kerry airport and then air traffic control at Cork.
Eventually he managed to contact Cork on his phone, telling them about his problem and his intention to approach the airport from the sea.