Train hits plane after emergency landing

2012-05-11 14:54
The Cessna four-seater plane that crash-landed near Balgowan in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, and was then clipped by a train. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

The Cessna four-seater plane that crash-landed near Balgowan in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, and was then clipped by a train. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Pietermaritzburg - Having survived a crash-landing in the Midlands on Thursday afternoon, a Pretoria pilot and his passenger cheated death a second time minutes later when a train smashed into their plane.

The four-seater Cessna, with pilot Gerald van Zyl at the controls, had flown in from Durban’s Virginia Airport to a farm in Nottingham Road, where he and his passenger did fly fishing. The men, who are said to be from Pretoria, were flying back to Gauteng in the afternoon when they apparently lost their bearings.

They spotted the private Zinkwazi airfield near Michaelhouse school in Balgowan, and they tried to make an emergency landing.

Overshot runway

However, the plane overshot the runway, went down a slope at the end of the runway and landed on a railway line.

Fortunately both men walked away uninjured, although they were jolted as the plane crashed over large rocks, damaging its undercarriage, smashing its nose and severely damaging the engine. The nose wheel also broke off.

Just minutes later, a cargo train clipped a wing of the stricken plane. It appeared the train driver had been told of the crash and had slowed down his approach.

Van Zyl said he would not comment on the incident as it was under investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

“All I can say is that we are fine: no injuries or bruises. We are very very lucky that it [the crash landing] went the way it did.”

Jan Jefferies, owner of the Zinkwazi airfield and the first person at the scene, said the crash could have been a lot worse.

Train tried to brake


“When I got there and saw no people around, I thought they were still trapped in the plane. But then I saw them outside, taking their things out of the plane. They were fine. I had to tow the plane off the twin railway lines as the train was approaching slowly. I believe the driver had been told to slow down because of the crash. He was trying to brake, but the train still crashed into the plane’s wing.”

Jefferies said the plane landed in the middle of the runway. “He should have taken off again, but instead the plane went down the slope and crashed at the railway line.”

Jefferies was unimpressed with the unauthorised landing. “During the brief conversation we had, they told me that they were going to land and then call me, but that is not how these things are done and I did not see any emergency.”

Nevertheless, he was happy that no one was killed or injured.

“Any landing that you walk away from is a good landing,” he said.

This was the fourth plane crash in KwaZulu-Natal in the last two weeks.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  air crashes
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
27 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

No legal challenge to Nkandla report - Mbete

There are no plans to legally challenge Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on Nkandla, ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Newlands - 14:10 PM
    Road name: M3 Both Ways
    QUEUEING TRAFFIC on Wynberg Hill
  • Thursday Rondebosch - 12:58 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Rosebank and Newlands
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.