Internet abuzz over missing planes

2011-08-15 12:41
Johannesburg - South Africans took to social networking sites and aviation forums on Monday to express concern over news of two light aircraft that went missing in George's Valley, Limpopo.

A Twitter user wrote: "However bleak it looks I'm still hoping for good news on the 2 missing planes from the Tzaneen air show. Families need to be whole again".

"This is not good. Prayers," another user wrote.

"Two Albatross missing out of Tzaneen with 12 on board 5 hours ago in poor vis. Well known air show folk and family on board. Major disaster" [sic].

Twitter users were anxious for updated news on the search for the aircraft.

"Limpompo owes us an explanation. What happened to the two planes that 'disappeared' when flying from Tzaneen Air Show? " [sic].

"Two Albatross Aircraft Missing Tzaneen. Anybody with any news on the aircraft missing in the Tzaneen area?"

Search suspended

The search for 12 people in the two light aircraft that went missing was put on hold on Monday morning because of bad weather, Search and Rescue SA said.

"We can't search because the weather is bad. There is fog and low clouds," said spokesperson Johnny Smith.

"The rescue aircraft are still on the ground for their own safety and will stay there until it is safe enough to go out again."

Overnight foot patrols had searched for the two planes which went missing while flying to Gauteng after an airshow in Tzaneen.

People on aviation forums were trying to stay positive.

"Any news yet, let's pray it's good," said a user.

"We can only pray for a miracle" and "Goodluck to the S&R [search and rescue] people", other users wrote.

The planes took off from a landing strip in Tarentaal, a small farming community in Tzaneen, on Sunday and were headed to Rand Airport in Germiston.

Staying positive

Smith said he was staying positive.

"As far as we concerned we are not searching for a wreck, we want to do a rescue.

"I always stay positive. If we give up then what is the point of rushing to find them," he said.

The Albatross planes, carrying six people each, were presumed to be in the George's Valley area, between Polokwane and Tzaneen, Mopani District Municipality spokesperson Mashadi Mathosa said on Sunday.

Rescuers were hopeful that they were still alive, Smith said.

- Do you have any information? Send us your stories and photos
Read more on:    polokwane  |  search and rescue  |  air crashes  |  social networks

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