Disciplinary action needed

It was reported in the Irish Independent that disciplinary action may be taken against some crew members involved in an incident in which a door fell off an Air Corps helicopter minutes after taking off.

The aircraft had climbed about 500ft at a speed of about 126 knots when the sliding door fell from the helicopter and landed in a remote swampy area in Killarney National Park.

The official report into the incident found that while on the ground the crewman had opened the left-hand door (the one that later fell off) to show two local people around the aircraft.

It was also found that neither the captain nor co-pilot had spotted the warning alert indicating on their display screen that a cabin door remained open.

So we have a situation that could easily have resulted in serious injury or even death because a crewman failed to properly secure a door after, apparently, showing some friends around the aircraft and two pilots failed to see a warning alert.

I think, in the circumstances, the military authorities should be doing more than just considering disciplinary action.