Anniversary of Cork Airport crash marked

Friday 10 February 2012 22.28
Six people died when the Manx2 plane crashed while attempting to land in Cork
Six people died when the Manx2 plane crashed while attempting to land in Cork

The six people who lost their lives in the Manx2 plane crash at Cork Airport last year were remembered at a service this morning at the Church of the Assumption in Ballyphehane in Cork city.

Among those who gathered at the mass were a number of the fire service personnel who rescued six people from the plane and recovered the bodies of the other six.

The mass, at the request of airport staff, was said by Fr Michael Murphy, the airport chaplain who gave the last rites to those who died.

It is understood that the six survivors of last year's plane crash are gathering at an undisclosed location in Northern Ireland for a private memorial to mark the first anniversary.

Co-pilot's family sue over crash

The girlfriend and parents of a co-pilot killed in the crash are suing two companies involved in running the flight.

Andrew Cantle, 27, from Sunderland, was newly qualified and had just started his first airline job when he died in the crash.

Today, his partner, Beth Webster, said she was struggling to cope with life without him as lawyers marked the anniversary with a £1m-plus lawsuit.

"Since the accident my life has been a living nightmare," the flight attendant said. "Andy and I had a bright and promising future together and now I struggle to cope with life without him.

"My friends and family continue to help me through this ordeal, unlike Manx 2, from whom I have yet to hear a single word of condolence despite the fact that Andy was wearing their uniform and flying an aircraft in Manx 2 livery."

The lawsuit, by London firm Irwin Mitchell and Dublin firm Murray Flynn Maguire, is against FlightlineBCN, which was granted the Air Operator Certificate to run the service, and Airlada, which leased the plane and crew.

Lawyers claim the accident was avoidable and was caused by the actions of the captain and whoever rostered very inexperienced crew together in poor weather.

The lawsuit claims that Ms Webster and Mr Cantle's family suffered severe trauma after seeing images of the crash on television as they were being notified.

She is also claiming a possible seven-figure sum for financial loss from her partner's likely 30-year career.

Ms Webster said: "My family, Andy's family and I have never doubted for a second Andy's abilities as a pilot and the interim report appears to confirm our strongly held beliefs.

"I personally would like to see a review of the current aviation law in order to prevent any similar tragedies from occurring."

Mr Cantle's father, John, said: "Andrew was a brilliant son, brilliant brother, brilliant pilot and aviator who touched his dream. Andrew had many friends through university and flying school who are young, keen pilots.

"We cannot bring back what we have lost but if this stops other families going through what we have had to this year and in future years then at least a part of Andrew will be remembered."