Tragedy as trainee pilot dies in crash

2015-06-08 10:35
The site of an aircraft crash where a 27-year-old student was killed north of Pretoria. (Theuna Breugem, Netwerk24)

The site of an aircraft crash where a 27-year-old student was killed north of Pretoria. (Theuna Breugem, Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - A 27-year-old trainee pilot has died in a plane crash in north Pretoria, after apparently losing control of his microlight aircraft.

Dawie du Toit, an instructor at the flight school Rosslyn Micro Flyers in Pretoria, was in the air on Sunday morning scouring the landscape for a missing plane, Netwerk24 reported on Monday.

It was his colleague, Marthinus Nel, who noticed the crash scene of one of his students from the air.

"It started burning on impact," said Du Toit.

Adam Khatibu Makhanya, 27, was a Tanzanian student who was earning his flying hours at the flight school.

According to Nel, who communicated with Makhanya via radio moments before the crash, the plane became uncontrollable.

"These accidents happen very rarely. We can only speculate about what could have happened," said Nel.

"Adam had training in Tanzania and had experience with much larger aircraft. He flew alone, because I knew he could do it. I would not have sent him out alone if I did not have full confidence in him."

According to Conraad Naudé of the Hercules community policing forum, a security guard from Fidelity said he had seen an aircraft which looked as if it was in trouble on Saturday night.

"We called the police and searched all night and all [of Sunday] morning," he said.

Makhanya had joined the flight school in February.

He wanted to get his pilot's licence, which he would have use to work on a game farm back home in Tanzania.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  air crashes

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