Planes clipped trees before crash
Cape Town - Some "pre-impact marks" were found on tall trees after a twin aircraft crash outside Tzaneen, according to a preliminary SA Civil Aviation Authority report.
The aircraft were flying in formation and seen by a witness moments before disappearing into clouds, according to the report released on Wednesday.
They crashed in the Lekgalametse valley, northeast of Tzaneen on Sunday, August 14, claiming the lives of 13 people.
"The terrain where the second aircraft was found is a steep and slippery slope with huge outcropped rocks and lots of tall trees.
"A number of pre-impact marks were observed on top of the tall trees and part of the left-wing structure was found stuck on top of the tall trees."
The terrain where the leading aircraft was found was a steep slope with a number of outcropped rocks and several trees in the vicinity. No pre-impact damage to trees was observed near the wreckage of the first plane.
The Albatross planes took off from Tzaneen at about 10:30, bound for Rand Airport in Germiston.
"According to available information" the pilots were communicating with each other in the air. There was no evidence of any declaration of an emergency before the accident.
The aircraft were fitted with standard navigation and communication equipment, approved at the time of certification. No defects were entered against the equipment before the accidents, or during the flights.
The aircraft were not fitted with flight data recorders, cockpit voice recorders, or emergency locator transmitters. These were not required to be fitted on this type of aircraft by the applicable civil aviation regulations.
Both pilots had valid licences.