TRIBUTES have been paid to the two men who died when their light aircraft crashed in Co. Kildare last week ahead of their funerals tomorrow.
Aidan Rowsome, 58, was killed along with flight instructor James Price, 70, after their single-engine BRM Aero Bristell NG5 plane came down in a field at Belan, near Athy, on Thursday.
The wreckage was discovered the following day by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 just a few kilometres from where it had taken off at Kilrush Airfield.
The two men, described as "close friends", were pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Rowsome – who was vice-president of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operations for US firm SmartDrive Systems – lived in Kildare but was originally from Stillorgan in Dublin.
The "devoted dad" is survived by his wife Marie and daughter Nadia.
His death notice on RIP.ie reads: "Sadly missed by his loving wife, daughter, brothers Paul and Noel, sisters Helen, Maureen and Olive, father-in-law Noel, mother-in-law Nuala, brothers-in-law Brian, Noel, Peter and Jochen, sisters-in-law Karen, Gillian and Andrea, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends."
Mr Rowsome's funeral will take place at the Church of St Laurence O'Toole in Stillorgan at 9.45am on Tuesday, with burial taking place immediately after at Shanganagh Cemetery in south Co. Dublin.
Mr Price – a former Aer Lingus employee from Ballinteer, Co. Dublin – is survived by his wife Denise, children Alan, Joanne and Aoife and grandchildren James and Afric.
His death notice on RIP.ie reads: "He will be sadly missed by his loving wife, son, daughters, grandchildren, son-in-law and partners, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins, relatives, his many friends and colleagues and all those in the Aviation Community."
Mr Price's funeral will take place at St John The Evangelist Church on Balinteer Road at 11.30am on Tuesday, followed by burial at Bohernabreena Cemetery in south Co. Dublin.
Tributes have been pouring in for the two men on social media since they were named over the weekend.
Sean Gleeson, a colleague of Mr Price who previously taught Mr Rowsome, wrote on Facebook: "It’s with great sadness to hear of the passing of former colleague instructor James Price who I had the pleasure to work with and my former student Aidan Rowsome I had the pleasure to teach.
"Both involved in a recent light aircraft crash recently. RIP x".
Dublin aviation club Weston Wing Wobblers said: "It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Jim Price and Aidan Rowsome in a plane crash. Condolences to their families".
The local parishes of Narraghmore & Moone added: "We pray for the two men James Price & Aidan Rowsome, who died in the plane that crashed in our parish. May they rest in peace and may their families know comfort and peace. Ar dheis De go raibh na h'amnaca."
The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) is investigating the cause of the crash, with a preliminary report expected to be delivered within 30 days.
No distress signal was sent from the two-seater BRM Aero Bristell NG5 before it came down, while the last location of the plane was briefly recorded by air traffic control at 7.20pm on Thursday with no further communication.
The UK-registered light aircraft – which was being used for a training flight at the time – is understood to have broken in two upon impact.
Although the cause of the crash is not yet known, the AAIU said there was heavy rainfall at the time which delayed the discovery of the wreckage.