Investigation after brothers die in plane crash

2012-01-09 12:40

South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority is working around the clock to determine the cause of a light aircraft crash that claimed the lives of two siblings in the Eastern Cape this past weekend.

Brothers Barney and Lumon van Eeden died on impact when their plane, a Cessna 150, crashed shortly after 9.30am on Saturday morning. According to previous reports the two had been on an “adventure flight” from Port Elizabeth airport when the accident took place at the Syfergat guest farm near Uitenhage.

One of the brothers, Lumon (35), had also been using the flight time to earn enough hours for a commercial pilot’s licence. Barney was a lawyer (37) and ran his own law firm.

The aviation authority’s communications manager Kabelo Ledwaba said a team of aircraft accident investigators had been dispatched “to start the process of collating data that would help in determining the actual cause of the accident”.

“In line with worldwide standards as set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, our investigators will attempt to produce a final report within 12 months. If they are unable to produce the final report during the specified period, they will release a preliminary report on the progress made,” he said.

Ledwaba said the accident was the fourth aircraft crash since the start of the new year: “This, regrettably, is the first fatal accident since the year started.”

Meanwhile, The Herald quoted the deceased’s family as saying the two, both unmarried, had been inseparable and loved flying. Their brother, Gerhard, who owns a flight school in Port Elizabeth, told the paper: “They were absolutely best friends.”

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