Pilot killed while fighting Mpuma blaze

2013-06-10 10:59
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - A pilot was killed while fighting a fire in the Piet Retief area in Mpumalanga over the weekend, Beeld reported on Monday.

Telo Steyn, 49, was piloting a Dromader Fire Bomber on Saturday afternoon, when he flew into a dense cloud of smoke.

Nico Pienaar, the owner of a local fire fighting company, said Steyn, who had had more than 25 years of experience as a pilot, had worked for him for only a week prior to the tragedy.

"The smoke was very thick. He flew into the cloud and just disappeared."

Pienaar said the wreckage of Steyn's one-seater plane was found about 20 minutes after he vanished.

Jacs van Rooi, a friend of Steyn, said the plane had evidently spiralled downwards, and landed in a small grove of trees.

The Civil Aviation Authority will investigate the cause of the accident.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  fires

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