2 killed in plane crash

2015-08-26 11:26
The scene after yesterday’s plane crash at Winkelspruit. Two people died.

The scene after yesterday’s plane crash at Winkelspruit. Two people died. (Jonathan Erasmus)

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“IT looked as if one man, still sitting up, was alive. We could see his hand as if he was pushing upward towards the sky. There was no shouting, no screaming from the plane. As we made our way to the plane, there was this massive explosion.”

This was Louis van Coller’s description of the last moments of a flight instructor and his student who died when their four-seater Cessna 172 (registered as ZS-NTR) hit a power cable and crashed beside the N2 near Winkle­spruit on the South Coast yesterday afternoon.

“I was heading home northbound on the highway when I saw the plane in trouble. It was swaying from side to side and it appeared as if the pilot wanted to perform an emergency landing on the N2.

“As it lined up the highway, it looked like the plane was to fly over power cables, but because of its swaying motion the left wing dipped, catching the line.”

Van Coller said the plane went into a spin.

“The plane looped twice. During the first loop it missed my car at my guess by two metres. After the second loop it crashed into the bush.”

Van Coller, who runs a security company and is a former policeman, said he and two other men stopped and ran to the plane in time to see it explode.

Paramedic Chris Botha, of Net­care911, said they tried to put out the flames with their fire extinguisher, but the flames were simply too fierce.

“The fire department was on the scene minutes later,” he said, adding that both men were declared dead at the scene.

According to the police, the plane belonged to the Durban Aviation Centre, a flight school based at Virginia Airport, and was being flown by a registered pilot. It is speculated that the single propeller aircraft developed engine trouble.

Flight school owner John Sargood said they were in the process of locating and informing the families of the two men, whose names are known to The Witness. He would not comment until he had further information concerning the accident.

Read more on:    durban  |  plane crash

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