Missing plane: Bodies identified

2012-11-21 18:01
Robert Simms. (operationsimms)

Robert Simms. (operationsimms)

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Johannesburg - The two bodies found at a site of a wreckage in Mozambique have been positively identified as those of pilots Bryan Simms and his son Robert, their family said in a statement on Wednesday.

"An investigation will be conducted into the circumstances of the accident and details of this will be released by the authorities," the Simms family said.

Their remains would be brought back to South Africa for a post mortem examination and cremation.

The two pilots went missing on 27 October. They were travelling from Malawi to Lanseria airport, north of Johannesburg, and were last heard of when their Baron 58 was near Beira, in Mozambique.

Shortly before the plane went missing, Simms senior said in a radio message that he was experiencing problems with one of the engines.

The pair indicated they were ceasing communication to focus on their cockpit.

Destroyed aircraft

The Simms family was notified on Monday that the wreckage had been found about 127km north of Chimoio, following a tip-off from a local.

"It appears that the aircraft impacted the ground at a high angle and was completely destroyed in the accident," they said.

During the search operation, which lasted for three weeks, a reward of $5 000 (about R43 000) was offered to any villager who found the missing plane.

Details surrounding the reward were pending and would be dealt with by the Mozambican search team in the area.

"The family wish to thank all the persons involved in the search for their dedication and commitment in continuing the search on a volunteer basis."

A memorial fly-past is scheduled for Friday. Bryan specifically requested that his memorial service be a happy event and his family asked attendees to not wear sombre attire.

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