Zimbabwe

Chopper crash kills top businessman based in SA

2014-01-13 17:12
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Harare - Zimbabwe's aviation authorities say the pilot of a US-built helicopter died when he crashed into a wooded mountainside in the country's remote southwest.

State media reported that the pilot, said to be a prominent Zimbabwean businessman based in South Africa, was flying alone to visit relatives in the American Robinson R44 model, a four-seat light helicopter, when it crashed and caught fire on Saturday.

The Zimbabwe Eye has identified him as Christian Malila Ndou, a businessman from Beitbridge.

Authorities said on Monday the cause of the crash was not clear, but villagers in the area reported hearing an "unusually loud sound" coming from the aircraft before it nosedived.

First aid emergency services at the scene said severed remains of the pilot were found several meters from the wreckage suggesting he might have tried to jump out, but was caught in the rotor blades.

The Zimbabwe Eye reports that it is believed that Ndou jumped out of the helicopter after a mechanical fault, and that his disembodied body was found 30m away from the crash site.

Bulawayo 24 News reports that both the police and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe was not available for comment, and that it would be a serious security concern of Zimbabwe's airspace if the source and destination of the helicopter was not known by the aviation authority.

- AP

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  air crashes  |  southern africa
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