Bulldozer clearing path to plane wreck

2012-11-20 18:43

Cape Town - Mozambican authorities had to use a bulldozer to pave a way to the burnt-out wreck of an aircraft, presumed to be that of a missing South African father and son.

The wreck of an aircraft was found at a remote area near Moia in Mozambique by villagers who alerted authorities after hearing a radio report about the two missing men.

"The site is extremely difficult to identify, even from the air,” Richard Maier, a pilot who previously headed up a search for the two, told News24.

"The only part of the aircraft that was identifiable was a propeller."

The bodies of two people were seen at the burn-out wreck, but still had to be identified.

Bryan Simms, 60, of Midrand, and his son, Rob, 22, were last heard from on 28 October 2012, when their light aircraft - reportedly a small Baron 55 - went missing over Mozambique's vast province of Tete en route to Lanseria airport, north of Johannesburg.

Shortly before the plane went missing, Bryan said in a radio message that he had problems with one of the engines.

Left behind

The Simms family said in a statement that they received news that a plane wreck was found in Mozambique by a villager, and that neither occupants survived.

"We are awaiting positive legal identification. The outpouring of support, hope and love from you all has helped to sustain us," a post on a Facebook page dedicated to the search said.

Bryan's wife Lillian said in a post: "Bryan and Rob died doing what they loved best,"

"You are both as free as a bird, you are together. You have left a massive void in our lives but you live in our hearts and minds forever."


  • joan.hovelmeier - 2012-11-20 19:04

    RIP, so sad that two lives were lost

  • boltonbarry - 2012-11-20 19:09

    RIP Aviators

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-11-20 19:10

    Such sad news. RIP beloved. At least your family have closure now. I feel so for you. Tomorrow is ayear since my own beloved husband of 45 years died. hugs to you all

      alexia.gambino - 2012-11-20 19:37

      My sincere condolences to the family and friends. May you find peace and comfort in your faith.

  • johnwilliam.roberts - 2012-11-20 20:46

    they have flown so high to touch the face of god R I P fellow pilots

  • tony.ezendam - 2012-11-20 21:17

    Ti Lillian & family. My condolences and deepest sympathy for your loss. I knew Bryan, and of course yourself Lillian. My prayers are with you at this time of your loss. May the grace of God give you the strength to deal with your bereavment.

  • richard.zanner - 2012-11-21 07:45

    A terrible tragedy. I do not trust these little planes. There have just been so many accidents involving them. RIP.

  • - 2012-11-21 11:11

    Our sincerest condolences to Lillian and family!!! We have lit candles every day and prayed with you. At long last the search is over and they can be put to rest!!!! OUr thoughts and prayers are with you in this most difficult of times!!! We will be coming to the memorial on Friday!!!

  • susan.cronje.73 - 2012-11-21 16:33

    It is indeed a comfort to know that your loved ones died doing what they loved most. My son also died 22 months ago cropspraying. He was living his dream! May you experience God's presence with you in the days to come! Paul en Susan Cronjé

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