Approximate position of main wreckage of R116 at Black Rock indicated by yellow arrow: Photo from Report
The Final Report into the 2017 crash of R116, which killed all four of the helicopter’s crew members has been published.
The privately operated Sikorsky S-92A, EI-ICR which was contracted to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, was lost at Black Rock, Co Mayo on 14 March 2017, 09 nautical miles west of Blacksod at approximately 00.46hrs.
The R116 was en route from Dublin, on Ireland’s east coast, to Blacksod, Co. Mayo, on Ireland’s west coast.
The Flight Crew’s intention was to refuel at Blacksod before proceeding, as tasked, to provide Top Cover for another of the Operator’s helicopters, which had been tasked to airlift a casualty from a fishing vessel, situated approximately 140 nautical miles off the west coast of Ireland.
At 00.46 hrs, on 14 March 2017, while positioning for an approach to Blacksod from the west, the Helicopter, which was flying at 200 feet above the sea, collided with terrain at the western end of Black Rock, departed from controlled flight, and impacted with the sea.
During the immediate search and rescue response, the Commander was found in the sea to the south-east of Black Rock and was later pronounced dead. Subsequently, the main wreckage of the Helicopter was found close to the south-eastern tip of Black Rock, on the seabed at a depth of approximately 40 metres.
The deceased Co-pilot was located within the cockpit section of the wreckage and was recovered by naval service divers. Extensive surface and underwater searches were conducted; however, the two Rear Crew members were not located and remain lost at sea. Forty-two Safety Recommendations have been made as a result of this Investigation.
The Report is highly detailed and can be read here.