Beach crash pilot praised

2010-01-11 00:00

THE South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has started investigating why a four-seater aeroplane crash-landed on a beach in Amanzimtoti on Saturday.

A couple were flying with their two children when the plane’s propeller apparently broke off and they crash-landed on the shore at Warner beach, south of Durban, narrowly missing 100 beach-goers.

SACAA spokesman Kabelo Ledwaba said yesterday that the wreckage had been cleared from the beach and will be stored in a hanger in Pietermaritzburg.

“We have started the investigation and it is still continuing,” said Ledwaba.

A Sunday newspaper reported yesterday that the Richards Bay pilot, Andrew Marks was praised by bystanders and emergency services for his skill in getting his wife and two young children safely to the ground with only minor injuries.

According to the newspaper the family were on their way from Richards Bay to Port St Johns, in the Eastern Cape when Marks and his wife heard a strange noise and felt vibrations coming from the propeller.

Netcare911’s Jeff Wicks said that tracks from the plane’s landing gear were etched into the sand showing the path of the aircraft.

Wicks said that Marks, his wife, daughter and son, aged six and four respectively, were treated at the scene before being transported to the Netcare Kingsway Hospital for further emergency medical care.

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