Plane wreckage found in Plettenberg Bay

2011-02-09 08:01

George - The wreckage of an aircraft, believed to be that of a plane that went missing over Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, has been found, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Wednesday.

"The wreckage was located just offshore of the Robberg Nature Reserve [on Wednesday morning]," NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon told Sapa.

"At this stage the operation is still being treated as a search and rescue with any hope to find survivors," he said.

An aircraft that had been travelling from Queenstown to Plettenberg Bay on Tuesday disappeared while trying to land near the Robberg Nature Reserve in heavy fog.

The single-engine aircraft was carrying two crew and seven employees of Italtile Ltd, the company's spokesperson Del-Maree English said.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos

  • Romy - 2011-02-09 08:16

    eish, could they not gone to george - too many plane crashes these days wonder if pilots are trained properly

      RhinoGP - 2011-02-09 08:26

      Hi Romy - Thats really a horrible comment to make about a pilot - bad weather conditions definitely played a major role in this - Im sure you still drive your car when it rains -

      Barry M - 2011-02-09 08:29

      @RhinoGP - Pilots should be trained to fly by instrumentation only! This is how Kennedy jnr died - he was incompetent even though he was a qualified pilot! Many others can fly visual but as soon as they loss visual reference they decode!

      Jou-Ma - 2011-02-09 08:42

      @barry M - You cannot fly passengers ( commercially ) if you arent instrument rated. Yo get tested regularly and if you cannot pass your instrument rating, you cannot fly comm.

      john30 - 2011-02-09 09:09

      Watch your mouth Romy, one of the pilots was a very close friend of mine. Both pilots has a lot of experience with all the necessary qualifications and training. Very bad weather has a lot more impact on smaller aircraft.

      M_B - 2011-02-09 09:17

      Romy, to answer your question, pilots ARE trained properly. Please don't make comments or suggestions that you cannot back-up with fact. @Jou-Ma - Pilots can fly commercially without an instrument rating, all it will mean is that they can only fly during visual flight conditions. @BarryM I totally agree with you, however costs become an issue, every hour taken to learn to fly on instruments costs money, and a pilot requires min 40 hours of instruction for instruments. This cost excludes theory exams, practical exam costs etc. What happened is truly a tragedy and can happen to any pilot regardless of the level of training. My thoughts go out to all the families affected by this.

      Oupa Willem - 2011-02-09 09:21

      Could bad maintenance not be one of the causes of so many crashes?

      carol12za - 2011-02-09 09:21

      How insensitive of you Romy. You know, honestly.

      Susannomore - 2011-02-09 09:37

      How insensetive. Can you not wait until the investigation is complete before passing blame. It could have been caused by any number of things and the Aviation Regulatories are very strict when it comes to competancy and fitness of the planes. Shame on you

      Oupa - 2011-02-09 10:14

      What an insensitive remark! Can't you just wait for the results of an official investigation of the accident? I'm sure that with the stringent requirements to pass for a PPL pilot error can be excluded in this case. Fog is a killer of all forms of transport. There too many car accidents also.

      Steve Darge - 2011-02-09 10:30

      I think Romy has a point. Does anyone remember the Carte Blanche expose regarding pilots who bought their licences at Rand? I don't agree with the way Romy said it, but we all know that there are pilots who are not trained correctly flying deathtraps. It's all fine and well having a collection of laws regulating the aviation industry, especially concerning aircraft maintenance but are these laws enforced? I think not... Nonetheless, my condolences to the family and I am merely speculating. None of us here actually have the right to comment since we weren't there in that particular situation flying that particular plane in those weather conditions.

      Sheena - 2011-02-09 11:44

      Thanks so much for the insensitive comment. I will be laying my very good friend to rest shortly. She was a pilot on that plane and more than competent to be there. I know in my heart that she would have done everything in her power to keep her passengers safe. - 2011-02-09 11:58

      not Pilots but planes not being kept up as they should. most experianced plain macs have been bought buy overseas companies leaving very little left to handle a large work load leaving gaps in safty.

      Jou-Ma - 2011-02-09 12:02

      @m_B - No you cannot be a commercial pilot without your instrument rating. Unfortunately, your flight conditions vary minute by minute, so your statement is acually incorrect entirely. I quote : Requirements for a Commercial Pilot Licence (Aeroplane) 61.05.1 (2) An applicant for a Commercial Pilot Licence (Aeroplane) must have completed not less than – (a) 200 hours of flight time, which may include 20 hours of flight instruction time in a flight simulation training device, approved for the purpose; or (b) 150 hours of flight time if he or she has successfully completed the integrated training referred to in regulation 61.01.16. (3) The total of 200 hours or 150 hours, as the case may be, referred to in sub-regulation (2), must include – (a) 100 hours as pilot-in-command, or 70 hours as pilot-in-command in the case of an applicant who has undergone the integrated training; and (b) 20 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot-in-command, including one flight of not less than 300 NM, in the course of which full-stop landings at not less than two different aerodromes away from base must have been made; and (c) 5 hours of night flying as pilot-in-command, including not less than 10 take-offs and 10 landings by night, and a cross-country flight of at least three legs, each of a minimum length of 50 NM; and (d) 20 hours of instrument instruction time, of which not more than 10 hours may have been acquired in a flight simulation training device; and (e) at least 5 hours instruction in an aeroplane with adjustable flaps, retractable undercarriage and variable pitch propeller or turbo-jet engine.

      Roamer - 2011-02-09 13:18

      Always helpful if one thinks for a sec before commenting on topics one doesn't understand!

      M_B - 2011-02-09 13:56

      @jou-ma, maybe you should read all of the requirements from part61. Comm is a licence, flying instruments is a rating, which is not mandatory for a comm licence.

      Jou-Ma - 2011-02-09 15:20

      @m_B - You are correct and i apologise for the mistake. I mixed the IR up with minimum hours on instruments. Point taken. ;-)

      tyepj1 - 2011-02-09 19:33

      Romy poses a question most people will be asking. No point in knocking him for making it. There will be speculation, including pilot error until the investigation provides the facts. This is normal after such a tragic and news worthy event.

  • rorwana - 2011-02-09 08:21

    that area has a history of aircraft crashes can't aviation sa do something about this...may setting up a curfew in terms of landing times when there is no fog etc.....

      Mikemcc - 2011-02-09 08:28

      There are procedures in place that have to be adhered to when arriving in bad weather. Each is customised for the airfield taking into account a large number of factors such as height of surrounding terrain, prevailing winds and weather patterns etc. Thereafter its up to the skill and training of the pilot(s).

      mikedek - 2011-02-09 09:11

      Mikemcc. We have had heavy fog and rain all day yesterday as well as at present.It is also all the way up to Port Elizabeth as well as to george. Plett has an unmanned airfield and should not be used in this weather conditions. Must have been another problem forcing them to try and land.

      daboss247365 - 2011-02-09 09:12

      Its kind of similar to saying that a stretch of the N1 is a high accident zone, & therefore should be closed down at certain times...

      Witseun - 2011-02-09 09:14

      Weather was the killer, ex pilot.

  • slademich - 2011-02-09 08:22

    Queenstown to George can't be more than an hour away. I wonder if they knew they were flying into fog when they left. Those employees are also likely to be senior management of the company. There will definitely be a change in travel policy after this.

      Mikemcc - 2011-02-09 08:40

      @slademich, I have heard that the weather can close in very, very quickly at Plett, clear blue skies and then 15 minutes later completely closed in by fog.

      jevoixtout - 2011-02-09 15:47

      Most large companies have this policy. Or at least should.

  • 40 Something - 2011-02-09 08:39

    So tragic! Sending prayers to the family of all those on board.

  • RhinoGP - 2011-02-09 08:43

    Our prayers go out to the families and friends of those who were aboard From the CMC Networks Team.

  • sceptic - 2011-02-09 08:57

    How weird! I was talking to friends last night about nostradamus' predictions of the end of days and planes that shall fall from the sky, et voila, a plane crashes in by back garden....I live in Plett. Freaky!! Poor families!!!

  • haynes.sp - 2011-02-09 09:21

    Weather seems to have played a big part in this tragic accident but generally a single-engined plane carrying 9 or 10 pax plus all their luggage is always close to the limit. When the pilot really needs lots of power to get out of a tight spot there isn't enough available in a single engine.

      Mike - 2011-02-09 09:25

      Unless it was a Pilatus PC12 or similar

      Allin - 2011-02-09 09:38

      It was a PC12 so it couldn't have been close to the limit, unless they were transporting tiles. PE is within spitting distance of Plett, so they should have diverted there...

      Stuart - 2011-02-09 10:01

      They would never be transporting Tiles on a private plane!!

      jeremy - 2011-02-09 10:01

      My thoughts exactly haynes.sp. What kind of plane was it anyway? It's one thing to have three or four people in a Cassna 182, but 9 people plus baggage would be a tight fit for a single-engined plane!

  • Lettie - 2011-02-09 09:37

    Sure the pilot tried his best under the adverse conditions.

  • Mike - 2011-02-09 09:41

    We can make all the excuses we want - simple fact of the matter is factors like bad weather came into play and the pilot unfortunately got into more than he could handle. It happens quickly - in the blink of an eye you find yourself in a perilous situation that can go so wrong. I know it happened to us once but we fortunately turned around and got the hell out of there. Then there is unfortunately a macho element "Me? why should I turn back? I can handle this" and I have seen people I know die against a mountainside because they pressed on regardless. I have stood amid the wreckage and stink of fiery death where two guys died, one an instrument rated commercial pilot, and were miles off course, thinking they were safe and high enough but meantime heading straight into high ground shrouded in mist. It is horrible beyond belief, probably the worst thing I have ever gazed upon, which will stay with me forever. The training was there, the plane was ok, what went wrong was the choices made that day. Rather back down, admit defeat and make the flight again tomorrow.

      Madelane - 2011-02-09 11:08

      As tragic as this is for the families concerned, I have to agree with you Mike. This nonsense of blaming a road, an inanimate object, for high accident rates contains not an ounce of logic just as blaming the weather, the plane, or anything else other than what one has done oneself is an illusion that mankind swears by.

      strudel - 2011-02-10 08:35

      I have to agree with you Mike. When we say "pilot error" we don't for any moment suggest the pilot is incompetent or inexperienced. We mean exactly that - the pilot made a choice that was wrong in the circumstances. And I am not saying that this happened with the Plett incident. No one will ever know what happened. The people that we need to talk to are gone. But my parents live in Plett and my mom told me the weather was dreadful all day on Tuesday. My partner flies a Cessna 182 and he never takes chances with weather, instrument rated or not. It happens to the best commercial pilots who are instrument rated. They make wrong choices. Just like we all do, even in traffic during heavy rains. We know we're taking a risk, but we do it anyway. The best would have been to never try and land in Plett to start with, but they chose to go and see what it was like before aborting landing. We cannot blame them for that. We can all say what we should have done in retrospect, but that's not life, is it? My condolences to all the families.

  • deebeeza - 2011-02-09 09:50

    Shame, all these "Know-alls" blaming the pilots. Thet have families too! Lets rather wait and see what happened. When I worked at a large Construction company, they sold their private jet, because company policy didn't allow more then 2 directors to fly together (even on commercial flights

  • Flinger - 2011-02-09 09:52


  • shonayh - 2011-02-09 09:58

    I hope there are some survivors... God be with you all.

  • akiec - 2011-02-09 10:30

    Watch your mouth Romy and you other kids who think you know what you are talking about. Every Pilot who goes through their PPL and CPL licenses do Instrument rating and ILS Landing procedures. They know what they are doing. Sometimes weather conditions are so bad that things can go wrong in a blink of an eye. And Bad pressure readings could also lead to Pitot tube failure and bad readings on the deck which cannot be relied on. Have some mercy towards the pilots, they were trained individuals who probably tried their best to land the aircraft. Lots of big aircrafts with pilots who have over 40 years of experience have also crashed before due to the weather. So you have no right to make dumb comments like these. Keep ur opinion to urself if its something as stupid as that

      christianjneumann - 2011-02-09 10:48

      @AKIEC.....Romy is not that far off with her comment.When we take to the skies we obtain a weather report en route and the one from the destination airfield. If it's dodgy we simply don't take off or turn around. I am not always popular with these decisions but so far I'm still alive and planning to be for a bit longer.

      Mikemcc - 2011-02-09 11:01

      @akiec, there is no ILS at Plett and although it is speculation it would appear that they should not have even being trying to attempt a landing there as conditions were below minimum requirements. You are right with your comment about very experienced pilots being done in by the weather but yet you slam others for making the same comments. If conditions were so bad that they were marginal they should not have been there in the first place. I am pretty sure that nobody thinks the pilots were trying to write themselves off. Only a thorough investigation will reveal the real cause of the accident though but until then people will choose to express their opinions pretty much the same as you have done.

      anitab.mailbox - 2011-02-09 11:16

      And where exactly do the flying schools inland practise their ILS approaches Akiec? As far as I am told, the only schools that have the opportunity to practise ILS approaches are the ones at the coast.

  • NickysDrive - 2011-02-09 10:34

    This is the saddest news. Rest in P[eace Marilize.

      Landie7 - 2011-02-09 11:13

      How do you know???????????????????

  • Diana - 2011-02-09 10:56

    Romy, I am dumbstruck at your “profound” comment – obviously, you do not have a conscience and are very ignorant, how could say such a ridiculous thing? I happen to know the family of one of the pilots –think about what they are going through – Imagine it was one of your siblings or children. Diana

  • Johann - 2011-02-09 11:07

    Wow, how pathetic are you people. All indication is that 9 people died, 1 of which was a family friend. We will maybe one day find out what the cause was, but until then it remains a tragedy. RIP.

  • Ahmed Mather - 2011-02-09 11:11

    It is with great sadness that the Board of directors of Italtile (JSE:ITE) Ltd ("the Board") announces the untimely death of Mr Gianpaolo Ravazzotti, Chief Executive Officer of the Group, and eight of his colleagues and business partners, namely Ms Gia Celori (Italtile Ltd), Ms Marilize Compion (Italtile Ltd), Mr Sava Di Bella (Prima Bella Bathroom Accessories), Mr Simon Hirschberg (Grainwave Pty Ltd), Mr Jody Jansen van Rensburg (CTM Alberton), Ms Aletsia Krause (Italtile Ltd), Ms Bronwyn Parsons (Pilot, Italtile Ltd), and Ms Alison van Staden (Co-pilot).

      melrose - 2011-02-09 11:34

      May God bring healing to their families, friends & colleagues!

  • Tania - 2011-02-09 11:26

    Thus far 8 of the 9 bodies have been recovered. Our hearts go out to our Italtile colleagues and family. The CIL team Eastern Cape.

  • dineshree - 2011-02-09 11:30

    I personally knew 6 of the 9 people on board and have flown numerous times with this pilot.....nobody was more thorough than her. She left nothing to chance & her passengers safety was her main concern at all times.

  • AraBilly - 2011-02-09 11:35

    This is what is wrong with the News24 allowing comments on this type of tragic event. Some people, with no knowledge of the subject don't comment, they speculate and it sets off a thread that is just not relevant. In a case like this, speculation is just not appropriate. One should wait for the assesment and then you can say what you like based on an informed opinion or investigation. The typical pilot in SOuth Africa and Namibia are of the best in the world and have the most relevant training to their abilities. Sh1t happens though and when they are in a tough situation, their lives are at risk as well. Pilots wanna get home at the end of their flight as well! Our thoughts are with the families of this tragic accident.

  • Hadley - 2011-02-09 11:56


  • Giovanni - 2011-02-09 12:46

    yes have some respect thats my uncle R.I.P uncle sava de bella and all others that lost there lives aswell all our prays are with all the families

      Johann - 2011-02-09 14:19

      Giovanni. Condolences to you and the family.

  • Phillo - 2011-02-09 13:50

    Our heart goes out to the families and friends of the deceased - may the Lord Jesus Christ our God carry you during this difficult time.

  • Natasha Fukuchi - 2011-02-09 14:17

    A friend's husband was on this plane. It is incredibly sad to think of all the families that are grieving for their loved ones at this time... my prayers go out to all concerned...

  • Av8tor - 2011-02-09 14:31

    I knew the pilot and would hate to think how she is turning in her grave right now after hearing comments like "unprofficient pilot / pilot error / poorly trained " especially after knowing what type of pilot and person she was. Lets all becareful not to judge too quickly and atleast afford them all the decency they deserve in death. The accident investigators will reveal all in due time. For now, words of sympathy would be preferred on posts like this, instead of hurtful words, often unfounded and untrue!!

  • Janene - 2011-02-09 14:34

    Oh my Gosh ! Is there anyone out there who cares about the families who have lost loved ones, and NOT what caused it. There are professionals who do investigations for this very reason ! Opinions are like ass holes...everyone has one. To those who tragically lost their lives and the families affected by the loss, I hope the angels surround you with loving wings and hold your hearts close. Sad sad day for Italtile !

  • Candice - 2011-02-09 14:38

    My thoughts, prayers and love go out to Lara Jansen van Rensburg on the loss of her husband Jody. An amazing husband and father has been taken so sudddenly and my heart goes out to her, her family, her boys as well as all the others that didnt make it in the crash. RIP. xxx

  • bb - 2011-02-09 19:12

    Very tragic.Why though are 7 people from the same company flying on one aircraft?

  • Tyrell - 2011-02-09 19:19

    I knew both pilots on board, and bronwyn actually gave me flight instruction during my training.. to all you who do not fly and do not understand fully what goes into becoming qualified to be in the flying position they were, heed your comments.. they were both very qualified and well versed crew members. I can tell you that whatever the reasons leading up to the crash may be (which will hopefully be uncovered) they fought tooth and nail and used every bit of their THOROUGH training and recurrency to avoid the situation, but sometimes in aviation (unfortunately) the worst can happen.. Please think before you make uneducated comments. These were professional pilots on board, that was their passion, and level of distinction as pilots at their level

  • Chris - 2011-02-09 21:26

    Please read PC-12 plane crash in Montana(2009) :

  • Helen - 2011-02-10 08:06

    My thought exactly, Romy. Two females in a panic/crisis situation. They simply couldn't handle it however well they did in their exams. Awful, horrible tragedy.

      john30 - 2011-02-10 14:13

      And you are little miss perfect... Would you like to say "They simply couldn't handle it" to their loved one's faces? Read Chris' link It could even happen to a US Air force pilot with more than 2000 hours flight time in a PC-12

  • Quinton Cambier - 2011-02-10 10:22

    This is a terrible tragedy and we shouldn't be blaming anyone. I'm sure the Pilots were just as qualified as anyone else. These things do happen and it certainly pulls the heart strings a bit more when it happens on our shores. But we shouldn't blame anyone until the investigation proves otherwise - I would imagine the fog had a major part to play, but I am not a pilot and I can only imagine what it must be like flying a plane in those conditions. Condolences to the families of the deceased.

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