Northern Ireland

WWII Catalina damaged in Fermanagh festival accident is repaired

A Catalina flying boat that had been stranded in Fermanagh for the last two months has finally taken off.

The Second World War aircraft had been damaged in an accident at the Fermanagh Seaplane Festival in September.

Delays had kept the aircraft on the ground at the former RAF airbase at Killadeas.

The 70-year-old aircraft took off from Lough Erne and has now flown back to its home in Paris.

No-one was hurt in the accident which happened when the plane drifted onto a moored yacht after the pilot had cut the engines close to shore.

The Catalina was one of two attending the festival - the other one was able to return home safely afterwards.

Catalinas at the former RAF airbase played a crucial role protecting Allied convoys during World War II.

A secret deal with the Irish Republic allowed the planes to fly through Irish airspace.

They flew along a route that became known as the Donegal corridor - a short-cut which linked Lough Erne with the Atlantic Ocean and extended the range of the aircraft.

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