Sister of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick touched by helicopter tribute to ‘Queen of the Skies’


The sister of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, who died in the tragic R116 helicopter crash in 2017, said it was “lovely” to see her sister’s name engraved on the side of a rescue ship.

The Sea King’s helicopter bears the emblem “Dara, Banríon na spéartha” or “Dara, Queen of the Skies”.

Sharing a photo of the rescue helicopter on Twitter, Niamh Fitzpatrick wrote: “How nice to see the Sea King helicopter named after Dara in flight.

“You can just make out her name on the page. #Dara #QueenOfTheSkies.”

The family learned of Dara’s honor a few months after her death.

At the time, they said they were touched by the gesture from HeliOperations, a search and rescue (SAR) company providing helicopter training and crew supplies in the UK.

The company named the former Royal Navy aircraft after Dara. The ship is used as a SAR training aircraft.

In 2017, Niamh shared how proud Dara would have been to have been associated with the plane.

Captain Steve Gladston, CEO of HeliOperations, knew Dara and flew with her. He suggested naming the plane as a tribute to her.

Dara died when the Rescue 116 helicopter she was flying crashed into the sea off the coast of Mayo in the early hours of March 14, 2017.

She died along with her co-pilot Mark Duffy and winchmen Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby. The bodies of Mr Smith and Mr Ormsby were never recovered.

Last month, Niamh told how the past five years have been “grueling” but there is “hope” and “relief” following the investigation into the tragedy.

The inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Niamh said at the time the families “needed to know that this can never happen again”. Sister of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick touched by helicopter tribute to ‘Queen of the Skies’

Fry Electronics Team

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