Plane crashes in Eston

2012-02-03 00:00

TWO men who were injured when their aircraft crashed and went up in flames at an airfield in Eston drove themselves to hospital in Pietermaritzburg yesterday morning.

One underwent surgery at Medi-Clinic.

The Witness was denied access to the crash scene by staff at the Angel’s Way airfield, which skydivers use.

The smouldering wreckage could be seen from the road and the smell of the burning aircraft filled the air.

Angel’s Way Trust operations manager Graeme Gordon told The Witness from his hospital bed at Medi-Clinic that the accident was frightening but was not related to any skydiving incident.

He declined to reveal the name of the other man in the aircraft at the time of the crash.

“The other person and I are recovering well and more information will be given after the CAA investigation has been completed,” said Gordon.

Parts of Gordon’s lower face were bandaged.

There were no immediate indications of broken bones or internal injuries.

It is not clear who was piloting the Piper Pacer two-seater when the crash landing occurred.

A pilot told The Witness that although the Piper Pacer is an old model, the aircraft is reliable if it is well maintained.

Medi-Clinic client services manager Reshnee Beekrum said the other occupant was seeing a maxillofacial surgeon.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said information was sketchy late yesterday, but that the plane crashed soon after take-off. The CAA is investigating the incident.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Vincent Mdunge said that no docket had been opened with the police, but they had been informed of the crash.

He said the scene had been cleared by the time the police arrived.

Angel’s Way is a training centre that offers instruction in sky diving which is fast becoming a popular adventure sport with South Africans.

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