Aerobatic pilot dies after show crash

2013-10-12 22:18

Johannesburg - South African aerobatic pilot Glen Dell died after he was involved in a light aircraft crash at the Secunda Airshow in Mpumulanga on Saturday.

"It's a loss to the South African aviation community," family spokesperson John Sayers said.

Dell passed away in the late afternoon after being transferred to Sunninghill hospital for burns treatment following the morning's crash at the airshow.

He was 51.

The airshow's organiser Hannes van Heerden called Dell's death "tragic".

According to Dell's website, he was the first South African to win the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships, after coming first overall in the event held in Ljungbyhed, Sweden, in 2004.

Dell had at least 25 000 hours flying experience on over 250 different types of aircraft.

According to Dell's website, he also held a zero foot aerobatic display waiver. A low level waiver is only awarded to pilots with proven competency and reputation, and a zero foot waiver is a rare distinction.

In 2003 he began designing and manufacturing an aerobatic aircraft, the Slick 360.

  • Sasha Martinengo - 2013-10-12 23:49

    Desperately sad. RIP

  • Andre Claassen - 2013-10-12 23:59

    Glen Dell, legend, great chopper pilot before settling on the planks!! RIP, a sombre note for all fellow pilots, embrace it as you never know which flight will be your last!

  • Andre Claassen - 2013-10-13 00:58

    @leon ... Wonderful men and their flying machines! Your comments re drones is all encompassing! It means we should have robots playing rugby so that there are no neck injuries etc etc! Mankind has always been drawn to flight, Glen was a performer, a consummate professional who got it wrong! Long may there be men who man these machines and throw them around the sky! As a pilot I know the risk every time I take to the air, there are no guarantees in the flying world

  • Nienkie Nonke - 2013-10-13 04:00

    @Leon, I have to agree with you. When you're dead you feel nothing. Its the ones you leave behind that suffer. When I got married I gave up my skydiving and paragliding. My untimely death would not be fair on my wife and children. It scars them for life. Food for thought.

  • Trevor Gadd - 2013-10-13 04:46

    There is a huge hole in the sky today, where once a great man wielded his wings to wow the world. Rest in peace Glen. May God bless and comfort friends and family.

      Jim King - 2013-10-13 18:54

      So sad !!! Sa lost a Legend

  • Godfried Kr├╝ger - 2013-10-13 05:27

    Big loss to South Africa. RIP

      Abanya Way - 2013-10-13 08:48

      @Leon Henley, yes, Mr Dell's death is a big loss to South Africa. Who is South Africa? We are. We all are. And we should all be proud of an achiever like Mr Dell. Any South African who becomes World Champion in any respected sport should be celebrated by all of us. Since the Wright brothers, powered flight has captured the imaginations and fascination of generations around the world and it is through air shows and pioneers that research and development in aeronautical technology has advanced. Mr Dell was a valuable and contributing member of that fraternity. South Africa has a history of aeronautical innovations so his loss will be a loss to all of us.

  • Cassie Nel - 2013-10-13 05:46

    How sad that News 24 can not even get the photo right on one of South Africa's most decorated and best pilots ever. That photo is of Johnie Smith. You are welcome to use my photo's - to help you out and set the record straight ! Rest in Peace friend and fellow aviator.

  • Feik Mc Heither - 2013-10-13 06:18

    Now that's to a man who really lived his life. I think at 51, his life should rather be celebrated. I don't know him personally, but those close to him should not feel sad but rather look back and say, 'hey, actually the old man did so much in his lifetime. Time for him to RIP'. Here's to our real Gung-ho...cheers.

  • S'celo Ngcobo - 2013-10-13 07:42

    What a loss,the man was a great aviator,that perfected his craft.enjoyed watching him @ airshows

  • Duncan Morsi - 2013-10-13 08:52

    Very tragic indeed!+my condolences to his family+!

  • Paul Gaydon - 2013-10-13 09:01

    Lovely comment S'celo - so many others made silly comments - your's lifted me up!

  • Paul Gaydon - 2013-10-13 09:15

    Sad day - seems to have been a very good man. RIP

  • Morwen - 2013-10-13 09:48

    Thinking of Glen's family and those he meant the world to, especially you my friend.

  • Craig Wing - 2013-10-13 10:08

    RIP Glen. You were an awesome pilot.

  • Wessel Jordaan - 2013-10-13 11:23

    Tragic loss - condolences to family

  • Dean Hart - 2013-10-13 11:26

    Leon the news24 troll

  • Gideon Joubert - 2013-10-13 11:27

    Leon is a troll with a fake profile. He is only commenting to illicit a response. Ignore him with the contempt he deserves.

  • Dean Hart - 2013-10-13 11:28

    A good Leon dies on the couch from cancer a bad Leon the same!

  • Gideon Joubert - 2013-10-13 11:28

    RIP Captain Dell, the aviation industry and aerobatics community is so much poorer without you.

  • Andre Claassen - 2013-10-13 12:22

    @leon you are a troll! Probably a little ugly man that sits at home alone all day too scared to take on people in the real world with your inferiority complex, so you choose to pick fights on social media. Shame..........

  • Alwyn Biermann - 2013-10-13 12:38

    Do not want to say a lot - lost quit a number of friends in my 39 years of flying - one thing I'll never do is to make a comment - reason - I was not in the cockpit - so how can I comment - RIP Glen

  • Fabio Josi - 2013-10-13 14:16

    Glen, you lived your life at the razor's edge! You played the game that takes no prisoners, you passed to young to the other side doing what you loved the most, there is nothing more honourable in this life! May you keep flying wherever your spirit may be, this is for you: Prayer For A Pilot Cecil Roberts Lord of Sea and Earth and Air, Listen to the Pilot's prayer- Send him wind that's steady and strong, Grant that his engine sings the song Of flawless tone, by which he knows It shall not fail him where he goes; Landing, gliding, in curve, half-roll- Grant him, O Lord, a full control, That he may learn in heights of Heaven The rapture altitude has given, That he shall know the joy they feel Who ride Thy realms on Birds of Steel

      Fabio Josi - 2013-10-14 14:17

      Why would someone give this a thumbs down?

  • Mzukisi Swarggart TaMzu Ngxumale - 2013-10-13 16:21


  • Louis Claes - 2013-10-13 18:50

    The only small consolation is that he died doing what he loved.RIP

  • TJ Van Rooyen - 2013-10-13 21:02

    What a shock! Rest in peace Glen old buddy. Our thoughts & prayers with your family & friends. TJ Van Rooyen

  • Chris Kruger - 2013-10-13 21:18

    Have anyone seen the crash video on facebook? Is it only me who thinks that the two fire trucks took way to long getting to the crash site? And only when they get there do they put on their gear? Unprepared maybe? Could his live been saved otherwise??

      Amore Geyer - 2013-10-13 21:35

      Absolutely!! My thoughts exactly. Those 30 to 40 seconds of full flames... Quicker response wouldve saved him from burns

      Edith van der Schyff - 2013-10-14 11:22

      I was there and you are absolutely correct when you say that! That poor man burned to death while they took their time! I just cant get it out of my mind! May God be with his family and loved ones after this tragedy!

  • Hoffie Rautenbach - 2013-10-14 06:45

    Another very sad loss to aviation and all friends and family - RIP

  • Timothy Schuler - 2013-10-14 07:48

    I am so sad to have witnessed the accident and cant get it out of my head. It will stay with me for the rest of my life. Its a great loss to the nation and my deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. He was a true legend and will be greatly missed in the SA flying community

  • Patricia Wright - 2013-10-14 08:07

    Very sad, rest in peace .

  • Edith-Ann Berling - 2013-10-14 09:06

    This is so sad. What a big loss for South African Aviation!!! Our prayers are with the family.

  • Testoffle Testmaster - 2013-10-14 10:43

    Good lord, just watched the video now. Those fireman were completely useless, they kinda just stumbled around. Maybe I cant judge because I am not a fireman, I work from behind a desk, but seriously? How lousy were they?

      Edith van der Schyff - 2013-10-14 11:19

      You are absolutely right! They took forever!!! The poor man burned so badly because they took their time!!!

  • Carole Dell - 2013-10-14 10:48

    Glen Dell - Cousin to Barry. Our sincere condolences to Jackie, Jo and family on the tragic loss of Glen. Many childhood memories spent with you Glen, not to be forgotten, although we lost touch a bit later in life. We are so sad for the people left behind and our love goes out to them. Rest In Peace. Love Barry, Carole & Chantelle Dell.

  • SQ Risk SA - 2013-10-14 12:24

    RIP Glen - you were the greatest!!

  • Bianca Kaygee Cooper Maila - 2013-10-14 13:18

    Great loss indeed ,,,my condolonces to the family of Dell and the aviation family...May your intelligent soul rest peacefully

  • Linda Meyering Steyn - 2013-10-14 15:35

    RIP Glen Dell. I will never forget the most amazing flight I ever had, doing aerobatics in a Harvard with you over Skydive Extreme a few years ago. I will treasure the memory, photos and video forever. I often speak about it.

  • Zwelabantu Delany - 2013-10-14 19:04

    My condolonces to the family of Dell alwehlanga lungehlanga iNkosi ibe nomusa...

  • EJ Moropane - 2013-10-15 01:36

    Uv lived too much 4 sum1 doin such dangerous stunts. RIP

  • pages:
  • 1