Pilot made mayday call before Wonderboom crash

2014-01-28 16:57
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Johannesburg – Moments before a light aircraft crashed at Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria, killing one, the pilot declared an emergency, the department's deputy director general for aviation, Zakele Thwala said on Tuesday.

Thwala said before the crash the pilot had made a distress call.

"He had declared an emergency, but then when he turned [the plane], it crashed.”

A pilot was killed when the plane crashed on Tuesday morning, Sinoville police said.

"At around 07:35, the plane was in a lift-off when it crashed in the airport grounds," said police spokesperson Mirna von Benecke.

"Only one person was on the plane."

No one was on the grounds at the time, and no other injuries were reported, she said.

The pilot was identified, but the name could not be released.

Von Benecke said she was unable to provide further details on the matter.

Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu referred all queries to the department of transport.

Operations as usual

The airport was operating as usual despite the accident. The cause of the accident was not known.

The City of Tshwane said it was a light single-engine aircraft that was privately owned.

"The body is being recovered at the moment," said spokesperson Blessing Manale in a statement.

He said the CAA's accident investigators were still at the scene by mid-afternoon.

"The accident scene is managed by the CAA and [we] cannot reveal the name of the pilot.

"It is their prerogative once the next of kin is informed."

Manale said a report would be produced only after the investigation was completed.

"No speculation on the possible cause should be allowed.

"As the accident scene is owned by the CAA, only they are allowed to provide possible detail on the accident. We do not have authority in this regard."

Airport management declined to give details.

- SAPA

Read more on:    caa  |  aviaiton  |  air crashes
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