Gardaí question Longford helicopter-crash pilot after airport arrest

A man is being questioned this morning in connection with a helicopter crash in Longford on Wednesday.

Two men, the pilot and a passenger, escaped injury when their helicopter crashed into the function room of the Rustic Inn Bar in Abbeyshrule just after 9pm on Wednesday night.

Last night Gardaí arrested a man in his 60s from the UK at Dublin Airport.

He is being held at Longford Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

The second man on board was David Bruton, an award-winning aerobatic pilot and owner of Midland Aviation which is based at Abbeyshrule Aerodrome, about one mile from where the crash occurred.

The company declined to comment.

They said the man was detained on suspicion of endangerment after the incident which was filmed by locals.

CCTV also captured the helicopter hovering a few feet above the Royal Canal before part of its propeller clipped the pub and spun the tail into the timber frame.

The helicopter is registered as g-BXTH on the Isle of Man with the Civil Aviation Authority recording the owner as Mannifest Live.

It was built in 1973 and the owner had a permit to fly which was due to expire next month.

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