A reason why Aer Lingus flight 712 crashed near Tuskar Rock off the Wexford coast is still being sought twenty five years after the event.
On the 25th anniversary of the crash of Aer Lingus Flight 712, off Tuskar Rock in County Wexford, mystery still surrounds the demise of the ill-fated aircraft.
‘St Phelim’ Aer Lingus Flight 712 a Vickers Viscount 803 crashed into the sea en route from Cork to London on 24 March 1968 . All 61 people on board lost their lives.
The cause of the crash has never been found but,
The only theory which remains unproven is that the ‘St Phelim’ was in a near miss with another object, or was even hit by it.
Three months after the crash, search and rescue services located the bulk of wreckage and almost two thirds of the plane was eventually recovered and reassembled in Baldonnel Aerodrome.
Chief Inspector of Accidents at the Department of Transport and Power Richard O'Sullivan carried out the 1970 report on the Tuskar Rock airplane crash. His report ruled out the usual suspects and then focused on the pieces of wreckage never found.
Everything was found of the airframe except the tailplanes and this led us down the street of a possible manoeuvre on the part of the pilot to avoid something.
There has been much speculation about what this mystery object could have been. One theory is it could have been a stray missile or an unpiloted target aircraft from British military testing off the Welsh coast.
The Ministry of Defence say the Welsh missile range was closed on the day of the crash, but admitted part of a pilot-less aircraft used as a target was found by a trawler off Wexford five years later.
Eyewitness accounts say there was a second object in the sea after the crash. Kevin Ryan says he saw a silver, triangular shape sticking out of the water.
Could his be the object that sent the Aer Lingus Flight 712 crashing into the sea?
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 March 1993. The reporter is Walt Kilroy.