Florida crash jet visited Shannon in March

Florida crash jet visited Shannon in March

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The passenger jet that crashed into a river in the US on Friday night is leased from an Irish company and visited Shannon earlier this year.

The Miami Air International Boeing 737-800 jet ran off the end of the runway at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida while trying to land in a thunderstorm.

There were 143 passengers and crew on board the flight which was arriving from Guantánamo Bay Naval Air Station in Cuba, when it slid off the runway into the St. Johns River at 9.42pm local time (2.42am Irish time).

All 136 passengers and seven crew members were rescued during a massive operation and while 21 people were transported to hospital, their injuries were reported to be non life-threatening.

A Miami Air International Boeing 737 arriving in Shannon in January 2017 – File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

It has emerged that Miami Air International leases some of its 8-strong fleet of aircraft from two Irish leasing companies including the jet at the centre of this incident.

The aircraft, (registration N732MA) listed as being leased from Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Avolon, also visited Shannon Airport on March 12th this year. The same jet also visited Shannon previously.

The airline is one of a number of civilian carriers that undertake charter flights for the US Department of Defence and use Shannon Airport for refuelling stops.

On March 12th, the same jet landed at Shannon while en route from Athens to the US while other aircraft in the fleet have also visited Shannon in the past and as recently as last month.

According to records, the incident jet is leased from Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Avolon which lists Miami Air International as one of its 150 customers worldwide. The airline has leased at least two aircraft from Avolon along with two others from another Irish company, AerCap.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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