|Irish Coast Guard/CHC Helicopters Sikorsky S-61|
***This article was first published on XEI Weekly Newsletter-14th March 2014 and with kind permission from Antoin Daltun is re-published.***
Aer Arann Islands has a Romanian-built Britten-Norman Islander EI-AYN which arrived in the UK on 9 February 1974, was first registered in Ireland on 26 March 1974 and delivered to Dublin on 29 April 1974 and it is coming up to its 40th year in Aer Arann service. It may be the oldest fixed-wing aircraft still in scheduled passenger service in what used to be called Western Europe.
The Irish Coast Guard/CHC Helicopters recently retired Sikorsky S-61N EI-SAR which was assembled in Japan in 1962 as a pattern aircraft for a Mitsubishi production line which never really got going. It served with British Airways and other UK companies before coming to Ireland in 1998 to work with the Irish Coast Guard. It was retired to Weston on 10 Dec 2013.Inquiries about preservation were answered with “the parts are too valuable”.
The oldest aircraft still flying on the Irish Register is BA Swallow EI-AFF belonging to JJ Sullivan [retired EI Capt], Johnny Molloy [retired EI Engineer] and B Donoghue and based at the ILAS Field at Taghmon, Co Wexford. Its first C of A was issued in 1935.
The oldest Air Corps Alouette was retired in 2007 at the age of 44. Cessna FR172H delivered 4 October 1972 is still in service.
[Based on info from Irish Air Letter]
Irish Aviation Research Institute © 17th March 2014 All Rights Reserved.