Niall Bowditch and Kacper Kacprzak (Pic: GoFundMe)
A GoFundMe campaign launched to support the families of pilot Niall Bowditch and 7-year-old Kacper Kacprzak who were killed in a plane crash in Offaly on Sunday afternoon.
Bowditch was an experienced pilot and flight instructor and was a regular at the Irish Parachute Club in Clonbullogue, while Kacper was the son of a club member who was one of 16 parachutists that had jumped from the Cessna Caravan aircraft moments before it crashed near Mount Lucas at 3pm on Sunday.
Allaiouti Hassan set up the GoFundMe page on Monday with a €20,000 target, and as of Tuesday lunchtime, it had surpassed that amount.
Launching the campaign page, Allaiouti said: "We are heartbroken by the loss of two cherished members of our family at the Irish Parachute Club, little Kacper, son of our dear friend and fellow skydiver Kris, and Billy [Niall], a true gentlemen and a thoughtful and great pilot."
"This is a difficult time for us all. I know that our skydiving family and the wider community want to come together and do what we can to support the families affected by this tragic accident. I myself have a son the same age as Kacper who loves planes. Having met Kacper at the club I know he was such a beautiful boy who would touch anyone’s heart," he continued.
"Please everyone let’s support their families at this tragic time. Every donation counts, no amount is too small or too big. Let’s show these families what they mean to us all. Please feel free to share this GoFundMe page with all your family and friends."
Air crash investigators remained on the scene of a fatal light plane crash in Offaly on Monday, May 14 before the plane itself was taken away for further examination. The cause of the crash continues to be the subject of their inquiries.
The single-engine plane came down at 3pm on Sunday on bogland approximately 2km from the Clonbullogue airfield where it had taken off from the Irish Parachute Club minutes earlier. The site of the crash is located between Daingean and Edenderry, not far from Mount Lucas.
The Irish Parachute Club, based in Offaly, released a statement on Monday offering their condolences to the families.
"The board of directors, members and friends of the Irish Parachute Club are deeply saddened at the death of the occupants of the aircraft that was operating on behalf of the club."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected. We would like to thank the Air Accident Investigation unit and the emergency services who are continuing their investigaton at this very difficult time," they continued.
The bodies were recovered from the site on Sunday evening.