All 13 people dead in crashed planes

2011-08-16 10:45

Cape Town - All 13 people on board two Albatross planes that went down on Mamotswiri Peak in Limpopo are dead, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

Both eNews and EWN reported the news.

It appeared that the two aircraft had flown into the mountain, Search and Rescue SA’s Johnny Smit said.

Both planes were discovered by a police helicopter, after weather allowed for search and rescue efforts to continue on Tuesday.

The wreckage was found high up on the peak at about 08:00, he said.

"We searched for half an hour, and had an idea from Sunday, as to where the planes were located."

  • Nepster10 - 2011-08-16 10:50


      George - 2011-08-16 11:10

      Someone must be liable for allowing planes to take off on such a bad weather. Moreover, such old planes are flown by visual sight to the ground. The planes were old and could not be flown by wire. On that tragic day the clouds were lower than the mountains, yet someone allowed such planes to take off on such a weather. The pilots were always above the clouds through visual sightings as per the rules with such old planes, yet if the clouds were lower than the mountains, it was inevitable that they both struck the mountains. Someone must answer as to the protocols of allowing such negligence to take place. A mere acceptance and RIP message is not enough.

      Poloyatonki - 2011-08-16 11:14

      My heart goes out to the families.

      rushi.nortje - 2011-08-16 11:17

      If the pilots were qualified, which i believe they were. They would have known not to fly in such wheather... You can't blaim other people for the choices they made.. It's very sad and could have been avoided - but blaming other people won't bring them back... My opinion. My prayers are with the families. May God give you the strength to get through this difficult time... ( sorry for my spelling )

      Buic - 2011-08-16 11:17

      Yeah some1 has to be liable for this.

      cliffarc - 2011-08-16 11:19

      - Pardon my ignorance, but did both pilots make the same navigational error ? Were they possibly flying in formation ? Highly unusual for two planes to crash in one incident.

      cliffarc - 2011-08-16 11:20

      - Condolences to the families.

      JohannV - 2011-08-16 11:21

      So sorry, RIP. And condolences to the relatives. George, weather is a part of flying, just as take-offs and landings are. All pilots hope for every day to be CAVOK, but that hardly ever happens. And to the @sshole who thumbs down all the condolences - may you experience severe turbulence and crap weather in your crappy life!

      elichiac - 2011-08-16 11:23

      Most of the pilots and people due to come back actually stayed overnight due to the bad weather. Why these 2 pilots decided to leave no one will ever know. It is another very tragic day in the Aviation Industry.

      Brett - 2011-08-16 11:25

      George, u are obviously not involved in aviation, otherwise you would know that the it is totally the pilots discretion to take off or not in those conditions. The pilots already paid for their mistakes with their lives and those of the passengers. Alot of other aircraft took off before and after those 2 aircraft, but they chose a different route/flightlevel and didnt have a problem. Its one of those unfortuante and avoidable accidents that can and will happen again..

      Linus - 2011-08-16 11:26

      This is astonishing. For TWO aircraft to fly controlled flight into terrain means both pilots made errors that killed everybody under these circumstances. The pilots have to take ultimate responsibility for their actions - taking into account their own capabilities, the aircraft capabilities and the weather. This means that not one single factor caused the accidents; but at least two factors. This is tragic; but it was avoidable if the pilots had used their heads properly.

      Windlass - 2011-08-16 11:31

      @cliffarc. As far as I understand they were used for Air Shows and mostly flown in formation. So very likely they were flying back from the show in the same fashion. I would think it is more likely they flew into each other than the cliff. Let’s not speculate and rather wait for the investigation results. Nerveless a very sad day for the loved ones and for the aviation community in SA. RIP.

      McDaNife - 2011-08-16 11:33

      Atleast theres a closure now in terms what happened to those 2 planes. Condolences to the family concerned.

      Virginia - 2011-08-16 11:40

      @ Cliffarc, I do not know how old you are, but during the 70's i think, two airforce planes flew into Devils Peak in Cape Town. Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

      VELOCITY - 2011-08-16 11:42

      @George: I understand that a flight of Harvard's took off a short while before the 2 Albatros. These are even older aircraft, single engine with "no pressurization" (Not sure what that means) with even older instruments - they made it safely back to Gauteng. Something else went wrong here, let's wait for the facts huh?

      DeonL - 2011-08-16 11:45

      Virginia, it was even a bit earlier with Republic forming in 1961? (I think) that at least 2 planes during the celebrations flew into the mountain. Another famous person that died this way was Hansie Cronje, not so long ago.

      RGL - 2011-08-16 11:48

      @Virginia - You are correct. It was in the 70's and I believe it was 3 Mercurius jets (flying in formation), practising for an upcoming airshow, that crashed into Devil's Peak in the morning mist.

      Virginia - 2011-08-16 11:48

      @ Cliffarc, I just checked up that it was 3 airforce planes that had crashed into Devils Peak 21 May 1971. I remember this as it was a very foggy day, and they all went in one after the other. The pilots were based in Pretoria, so it is possible to make a mistake if you do not know uour surrounds. I dont think the technics were so clued up in those days.

      Dan - 2011-08-16 11:54

      @ Buic. Sobody is liable - that is why they call it an accident. Unlikely that two planes and two pilots will make the same liable mistakes at the same time. It is just an accident. I'm sure both pilots weren't on a suicide mission. You read too much Muslim reports. JUST A VERY TRAGIC ACCIDENT, NOTHING MORE AND NOTHING LESS.

      cliffarc - 2011-08-16 11:55

      - @Virginia - I never said it has never happened- I said it's highly unusual. Also take into accont the very close formation of jets in a fly past and the huge differences in their speeds, when compared to these planes.

      Skietlood - 2011-08-16 11:59

      Virginia, there were tree Mercurius VIP A/C that flew into table Mountain.

      Dan - 2011-08-16 12:03

      Tragic and some comments on this blog even more tragic. I actually listened to a very interesting explanaition as to why so many planes crash into the ground, ridges and mountains in Alaska yesterday evening on Air Alaska. In certain dense fog the light beams (from the sun)get refracted or somehow absorbed to such an extent that your line of vision shows everything in front of you as being "flat" terrain. Pilots therefore think they are above a mountain or ridge and simply fly into it without realizing it. If I listen to the comments from some of the people in the Tzaneen area, I think this could be a very probably cause. I don't however think our authorities has the mental capacity to even consider such a scenario. It is therefore just an accident and nobody is to blame - it can happen to anyone.

      Virginia - 2011-08-16 12:06

      @ Cliffarc, my apologies, but when you wrote about ignorance, I just thought I would let you know that I knew of another incident of planes flying into a mountain, right here in CT. What type they were did not concern me. sorry for the misinterpretation of your comment.

      DeonL - 2011-08-16 12:10

      Sorry Virginia you were right about the 70's, it was 26 May 1971 and 3 planes flew into Devils Peak, they were training for the 10th aniv. for republic day.

      Delarey - 2011-08-16 12:45

      George, if you do not know what you are talking about then please don't inflame an already terrible situation. Deepest condolences to the family and friends of the lost lives. A sad day indeed. R.I.P.

      Dips - 2011-08-16 23:23

      @ Brett - People comment in things they don't know, ...above the clouds through visual sightings as per the rules with such old planes - what bull. The facts as follows. 1)VFR are not allowed to fly through clouds. 2)If they flew IFR they did not maintain the basic rules which applies to VFR and IFR, 500ft clearance above buildup areas and 1000ft clearance over mountainous ares. 3)They did not check metars, taf's etc, they did not nominate an alternate aerodrome if the weather turned bad. 4)Not even the president can tell a pilot in command to take of in bad weather, nor air control or anybody. This is pilot error in the first degree, bad planning and a lack of training - without proper training success is unlikely and an aircraft is is very unforgiving. Fact - Nobody else is to blame except the pilot in command.

  • Peter van Rensburg - 2011-08-16 10:51


      PunkBuster - 2011-08-16 16:47

      Must be a scary way to go... RIP people...

  • Sean.C - 2011-08-16 10:54


  • Spaffy - 2011-08-16 10:54

    ShIt... Condolences

  • Lee - 2011-08-16 10:55

    RIP was hoping for good news.

  • TamiJade - 2011-08-16 10:56

    tragic news, thoughts and prayers to the families, may the people on board rest in peace

  • Bra Pat - 2011-08-16 10:57

    God had a plan for them, they dont have a pain where they are. So lets embrace the family thats at loss and make them strong. Keep up good works.RIP

      JohannV - 2011-08-16 11:43

      And... out come the bitter, hateful atheists with their anger at God. Shame...

      Marcell - 2011-08-16 11:43

      Jesus NEVER promised that following Him would be easy. What He DID promise those that CHOOSE to follow Him that it would be worthwhile in the end.

      Troll123 - 2011-08-16 11:45

      @stuart, shame what an empty worthless life you must live. No reason for being. Good luck with it.

      Deon - 2011-08-16 11:49

      It always infuriates me when people downplay tragedies like this one by looking for ridiculous justifications in mythology. See, in the modern world what we -ought to- do is accept this tragedy for what it is, a sad and tragic freak accident with no connotations to any universally moral dilemma you might conjure up in your mind. Then we move on to understand what exactly happened so that we can put measures in place to try and make sure this doesn't happen again in future. It's called rationality, and it's worked out quite brilliantly for the human race so far. Condolences to those involved. I hope there was no suffering.

      mickster - 2011-08-16 11:54

      Not sure I understand Zaatheist and Stuart Steedman. So then are you blaming GOD for this and all natural deaths as well? Living and dying are all part of our destiny, is GOD to be blamed or all deaths? it appears from your comment that this is the case, as Atheists don't blame GOD blame whoever else you want to in your fairy tale, as GOD doesn't exist, remember. And yes it is a great tragedy, and those that believe in GOD will find comfort through HIM in this human tragedy.

      Truds - 2011-08-16 11:56

      I heard someone say the other day that it's never God's will to take someone's life so brutally! God will never cause so much pain willingly. He will however carry the family and friends, that are left behind, through this difficult time.

      MTRJ - 2011-08-16 11:56

      Stuart, if you say there is no God, then why capitalise His name all the time?

      stuart.steedman - 2011-08-16 12:00

      Explain to me then what possible need God needs for people up in Heaven. More hands on board to help fix the roof? Maybe one of them is a doctor? Or does God need pilots to be in charge of Angel Force One? No, according to your doctrine, it's to sing his praises. Why does a supposedly all-powerful God show such insecurity issues by requiring his own creations to inflate his ego? How meaningless is that? If he is truly omnipotent, why does he get his kicks from destroying the families left behind in such tragedy? If God were human, he'd be the equivalent of the little kid who throws a tantrum and breaks his toys because mommy isn't showing him enough attention. @Troll123 - my sense of self, peace and morality comes from within. Not from a genocidal deity. The bonus upside is I tend to be less hypocritical than your average Xtian (and look at you, you just broke Matthew 7:1 - by suggesting that I am worthless and bitter. Better get back to your scripture there).

      stuart.steedman - 2011-08-16 12:04

      @mickster - I don't blame God - he doesn't exist. I am encouraging that other people don't blame God either. Blame pilot error. Blame the weather. Blame poor decisions. God doesn't enter this, he never did. People trying to justify tragedy with mythology just hold back human progress.

      stuart.steedman - 2011-08-16 12:09

      @MTRJ I capitalize addressing names (like your name), days of the week, days of the month, company names. Any form of address really. Doesn't indicate I believe in God, it just means I am observant of grammar :-)

      lenand40 - 2011-08-16 12:10

      This is like telling an ugly duckling that they are actually a beautiful swan. Sad reality is that everyone else with brains knows that the ugly duckling is nothing but an ugly duckling. Those calling it a beautiful swan are only doing so to make themselves feel like beautiful swans. It is a selfish reaction, which I suppose it is OK under the circumstances, but does not make any sense. Why would someone create human beings of different ages, and then allow them to crash, hence hurting far more than the people who died? A plan that involves yanking bread winners from families and friends has to be questioned whether you are a believer or not. If the plan is for me to die a terrible death at an early age of my life, after doing my best to avoid disease, drugs, crime, then help me understand what benefit this plan is to me? The bible says "Respect your elders" such that your years in this world will be increased (or something to that effect). Surely, dying young cannot be a great rewards. My sincere regret to the families and having lost a loved one, no amount of bs will make it better. In time, the pain will subside, but for now, one cannot imagine continuing with life. Couple the fact that this accident involves more family members, I cannot imagine how those left behind are feeling. Sorry for their loss

      legens - 2011-08-16 12:14

      what is the plan please?

      Tolerant - 2011-08-16 12:16

      Maybe the plan was that heaven was looking for another angel?

      stuart.steedman - 2011-08-16 12:20

      God needs more angels because he doesn't have enough already? You make him sound like a Pokemon collector! And at what expense? Shattered families left behind with no breadwinner? It's juvenile nonsense.

      Virginia - 2011-08-16 12:32

      Bra Pat God has nothing to do with this tragidy, he gave man free will and free thinking and hoped he would make good choices through his life. This was an accident, and not lets make things worse with our silly assumptions, for family memebers and friends of these unfortunate people.

      legens - 2011-08-16 14:55

      because you can`t,can you? game set match my friend.

  • VELOCITY - 2011-08-16 10:57

    Oh no!!

  • Clive - 2011-08-16 10:58


  • Jana - 2011-08-16 10:59

    My heart goes out to the families. We know one of the dad's who lost a son and he grand child so sad my heart is breaking for them!!!

  • Joy Thorpe - 2011-08-16 10:59


  • natasha.c.venter - 2011-08-16 11:00

    RIP ... very sad

  • Wesley Ebenezer - 2011-08-16 11:01

    May They RIP, and God strengthen the families

  • Dash - 2011-08-16 11:01

    Eish; what a loss....may their soul rest in peace and big condolences to their respective families.

  • Susannomore - 2011-08-16 11:01

    My heart felt condolenses to all concerned. We were all s hoping that this would have a happy ending.

  • Durbanite78 - 2011-08-16 11:02

    Shame may their souls rest in peace

  • Madelein Potgieter - 2011-08-16 11:02

    I am so sorry..................... life is so short. I believe that the today our country is creying with you!!!!

  • whatsinaname - 2011-08-16 11:02

    Sad! Was hoping for better news. RIP!

      Wotzizname - 2011-08-16 11:17

      Ja me too!

  • Freddie - 2011-08-16 11:02

    RIP. Sorry for the loss. :-(

  • dragon - 2011-08-16 11:03

    My heart weeps.....Please, pilots out there, take extra care.

  • boep - 2011-08-16 11:03

    This is really sad news, I had met some of those killed in the air crash at prevoius air shows. My condolences to the families. RIP

  • Conquest11 - 2011-08-16 11:03

    Hostile terrain...difficult job for the SAR team...not easy I know...but well done. Plse remember the family and friends that stay behind. You are in our prayers. Very,very sad.

  • Angel - 2011-08-16 11:04

    Shame man! So heartbreaking, RIP

  • sibusiso.mpofu1 - 2011-08-16 11:04

    Were the pilots racing each other? How is that two planes crash at same spot, at same time? Who was guiding who, and why? Were they being flown by properly trained pilots? Something is fishy here, and has led to unnecessary loss of life! Condolences are in order!!

      Tantrum - 2011-08-16 11:10


      Sambok - 2011-08-16 11:11

      You really are stupid you know?

      Ed - 2011-08-16 11:16

      dude....dont worry about idiots like 'sambok'. his brain fails to comprehend that two planes crashing into the same spot is not exactly normal, especially in todays day and age. even if they are old planes, it is strange that they both crashed into the same place??? questions do need to be asked and an investigation held. if not, then this will just happen again and again. although, in retrospect, it may be a good thing if 'sambok' is flying the next plain. i am also sure that the family of those who died, will wish to know why... otherwise, ROP to those who have died, i just hope that lessons are learned though.

      JohannV - 2011-08-16 11:22

      Sibu, these are planes, not Hi-Ace taxis. It takes LOTS of training and skill to operate them, but accidents still happen. Go play in the street.

      Grayman - 2011-08-16 11:26

      @sibusiso: no, I do not think that the pilots were racing eachother. It is not uncommon for two planes flying from one point to another to fly close to eachother. A bit like you would follow a friend in another car if you are going to the same place. We cannot presume anything until the CAA has done a thourough investigation into the accident. Until then, let's just accept that a tragedy has occurred and give our support and condolences to the surviving family and friends.

      Milana - 2011-08-16 11:43

      I gues we'd never find that out now would we as all of them have passed on, its just sad that they went down like especially with children involved.

      Ettienne - 2011-08-16 11:47

      Hi Sibusiso, I would like to take the opportunity to clarify some of your questions. 1.) The two aircraft were not racing one another. Both aircraft were privately owned by their pilots and regularly took part in airshow displays. Both pilots were very good friends and in the spirit of their display always traveled together and flew in what is termed as "loose" formation. This would account for them being found so close together. What caused the accident is a very big unknown and will only be determined by a post accident investigation. 2.) Both pilots were "properly trained"", one of which was an ex-south african air force pilot, with a lot of experience flying the particular aircraft in question. Unfortunately even the best pilots in the world can be caught unaware by factors unforeseen.

      johnwilliam.roberts - 2011-08-16 12:24

      being an ex prof pilot this is sad news however one should always know the highest terain on route and make sure you fly above it thats what instruments are for. no one is to blame besides the pilots its their duty to find out before a flight about weather on route and then make a choice to fly or not within their capabilities . by the sounds of things the pilots were not instrument rated. my sincere condolences to the family and friends may the boys R I P .

      willieman - 2011-08-16 13:01

      @ Ettienne you one of the few who commands sense others just spit puke and not helping like JohannV who probably think he knows it all.Thank you Ettienne,we such brains in this country

      Cindy - 2011-08-16 14:07

      Are you a complete idiot? Accidents happen, that does not imply that there has to be something fishy - yes it is stange that 2 extremely experienced pilots had the exact same accident, but that happens. Take into account the fact that the visibility was extremely poor. Every tried driving your car in extreme mist - well try flying a damn plane you twat. How bout you shut up. The families and friends of all on board have enough to deal with at this stage. My prayers are with them.

  • The Saint - 2011-08-16 11:05


  • JitteKerl - 2011-08-16 11:05


  • Shaun - 2011-08-16 11:06

    Terrible news this and my heart goes out to the families and friends of those that passed away. I guess then that both planes were flying either one behind another or next to each other to have flown into the same mountain and strange why they were not warned of this by there onboard instruments?

  • Michelle - 2011-08-16 11:07

    My condolences to the families. I can't imagine the pain they're going through.

  • tracy - 2011-08-16 11:07

    This is very sad. My condolences to the families.

  • VP - 2011-08-16 11:07

    Our condolences to the family and friends. God bless them may they rest in peace.

  • Daisy - 2011-08-16 11:08

    soo sad my prayers are with the families at this time

  • Fedup - 2011-08-16 11:10

    Oh I'm so sorry to hear this, was really praying that someone had survived. Two young kiddies aged 7 and 9 on board. My heart goes out to the loved ones left behind. Patsy my thoughts and prayers are with you. Be strong my friend.

      petra.nicol - 2011-08-16 12:19

      To have your world turned upside down in an instant, to have the rug pulled from under you like this & changing the world as you've known it..... I can only send Loving Thought & Energy to those left behind. I am SO, SO sorry. Know that the country is united behind you all in your loss.

  • Shop 63 - 2011-08-16 11:11

    RIP - Our hearts go out to the family and friends.

  • George - 2011-08-16 11:11

    Someone must be liable for allowing planes to take off on such a bad weather. Moreover, such old planes are flown by visual sight to the ground. The planes were old and could not be flown by wire. On that tragic day the clouds were lower than the mountains, yet someone allowed such planes to take off on such a weather. The pilots were always above the clouds through visual sightings as per the rules with such old planes, yet if the clouds were lower than the mountains, it was inevitable that they both struck the mountains. Someone must answer as to the protocols of allowing such negligence to take place. A mere acceptance and RIP message is not enough.

      jen - 2011-08-16 11:18

      It is so tragic but can we for once, stop this culture of blame? "Someone must be liable?" The pilots were not forced to fly in bad weather. Condolences to the family. Leave them to mourn their loved ones. May they RIP.

      AloninSA - 2011-08-16 11:43

      @jen, its not so much about blame as it is about prevention...

      stuart.steedman - 2011-08-16 12:17

      The liable parties were the pilots - they've already paid the price for their decisions. No-one else to blame here. No-one forced them to take off.

  • Mareck - 2011-08-16 11:12

    Condolences to the families of those who have passed away. My only question is why where the planes flying so low in a mountainous region. They where build with a service ceiling of around 20 000 feet so they should of been able to go over the mountains without issues.

      Ed - 2011-08-16 11:17

      they may not have been pressurised planes???

  • Jacques - 2011-08-16 11:12

    This is very sad indeed ..... condolences to the families and friends. this is a great loss.

  • Fred Marais - 2011-08-16 11:12

    RIP terrible accident

  • JoeMan.vdw - 2011-08-16 11:12

    May you rest in peace and condolences to the families.

  • rushi.nortje - 2011-08-16 11:13

    Very very sad!!!! My prayers are with the families :'(

  • domdel - 2011-08-16 11:14

    RIP. Our condolences to all the families that lost loved ones.

  • DPG - 2011-08-16 11:15

    how did both pilots manage the same errors?

      wayfaerer - 2011-08-16 11:53

      In thick clouds your visibility is severley reduced... If the one plane was following the other then ja nee. The planes did leave at the same time, from the same airstrip after all. RIP

  • CatvonH - 2011-08-16 11:16

    Tragic :-( RIP

  • Serubabel - 2011-08-16 11:16

    May their souls rest in peaace.Very tragic considering that innocent children had to pay dearly for sum1s ignorance.

      wayfaerer - 2011-08-16 11:54

      Accidents happen... Your comment is insensitive - do you think they TRIED to crash?

  • Propjockey - 2011-08-16 11:19

    RIP. Unfortunately, not unexpected, under the circumstances. The pilots were prob'bly flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules : visual contact with the ground) and were suddenly thrown into 'darness',(IFR : Instrument Flight Rules) requiring a whole new set of rules and training

  • Paul - 2011-08-16 11:19

    Shades of the Previous Albatross crash were 4 or 5 planes flew into Table Mountin together. Maybe ALbatross planes are fated.

      loose_cannon - 2011-08-16 11:24

      Idiot, check your facts first. May 29 1971. Three Hawker Siddley 125's flew into Devil's Peak not Table mountain. Stop speculating until the facts are know. My condolences to all those that lost loved ones in the tragic accidents

  • Peter Potgieter - 2011-08-16 11:19

    The news is so sad. You can't really point fingers, yes the weather was not good, the pilots were probably aware of the risks, but you never know if they discussed it before leaving. Maybe thats why they flew together. We cannot foresee the future but i strongly believe that if it is your time to go, it is your time to go with its a plane crash, accident being shot etc... Unfortunately its a fact. If it was not their time to go trust me they might have been seriously injured but would have still been alive. I believe lives are lost for a reason, maybe they all died cos if some survived who knows maybe they would have suffered more pain in their future... sad but true. My heart goes out to all the families concerned.

  • dragon - 2011-08-16 11:20

    Who is the IDIOT that has given a thumbs down on nearly all the comments. You SUCK!!

      Peter van Rensburg - 2011-08-16 12:14

      was siiting here noticing that too. how sad must a persons life be to sit and do that...@$$hole!

  • theDriver - 2011-08-16 11:21

    I'm looking forward to a time when a plane crash does not necessarily have to mean 100% fatality. My condolences to ALL affected!

  • Peacock - 2011-08-16 11:21

    Sad sad news. RIP. But who is the insensitive idiot who is giving thumbs down on all comments?

  • Vela Stardust - 2011-08-16 11:22

    Very sad news. Condolences to the families and friends of all those on board.