Trio that died in a tragic airplane crash were like brothers

By Hilda Van Dyk
12 December 2016

The three friends, who died in an airplane crash this past weekend, flew together regularly.

Jonathan Plotz was a qualified pilot, who studied at U-Fly pilot school in Germiston.

A photo posted by Jonathan Plotz (@jonathan_p_5) on

The pilot school wouldn’t not comment on the accident until the South African Civil Aviation Authority completed their investigation into what went wrong on Saturday afternoon - when the Piper Cherokee PA-28-181 in which they were flying crashed in a ravine close to Kaapschehoop.

A photo posted by Jonathan Plotz (@jonathan_p_5) on

Jonathan and his two friends, Clifton Maverick and Brandon Pretorius, both died in the accident.

“They were more than best friends. They went everywhere together,” says Linton Junior Cox.

“They flew together regularly. Every time Jonty had hours to make up, he told the other two to go with.”

Jonathon, Clifton and Brandon (all 20 years old) attended school together at Alberton High School. Clifton lived in Alberton while Jonathan and Brandon were both from Germiston. According to a friend who would prefer to remain anonymous the three friends flew to the Kruger Mpumalanga International airport on Friday where they met up with friends. Jonathan posted a picture of him Clifton and Brandon to Instagram and captioned it: “Good flight to Kruger with the gents #goodtimes #brothers #friends #aviation #avgeek #pilotlife #pilot”

“It was Clifton’s dream to fly jets and Brandon was just with them on the trip,” says a friend.
The threesome was flying back to the Rand airport when the accident happened. The Laevelder reports that the three were flying over the Clivia mountains when the aircraft crashed into the Sappi plantation close to Ngodwana. It’s also close to Kaapschehoop and about 55 km west of their departure point. Rescue teams searched for three bodies in thick mist and dense forest.
Jonathan regularly posted Instagram pictures of himself or runways of airports which showed how much he loved to fly.

A photo posted by Jonathan Plotz (@jonathan_p_5) on

“Jonty was an amazing person and was very passionate about flying. Clifton was loved by all because of his kindness.”

A photo posted by Jonathan Plotz (@jonathan_p_5) on

“He had big dreams to fly jets one day. Brandon was the guy that always kept the group together and created amazing memories and laughs,” says a friend.

They may be gone but never forgotten by all their friends and family.”

Linton says Jonathan, Clifton and Brandon were wonderful guys who cared for other people. They always knew how to put a smile on other people’s faces.

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