Pair killed in crash ‘were inseparable’

2018-05-02 16:51
Octogenarians Maxine Frisch and Claus Keuchel died in a plane crash in Vryheid on Sunday. The couple, who met in 2016, had a 'fairytale romance".

Octogenarians Maxine Frisch and Claus Keuchel died in a plane crash in Vryheid on Sunday. The couple, who met in 2016, had a 'fairytale romance". (Supplied)

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Octogenarian lovers Claus Keuchel (83) and Maxine Frisch (84), who died in a plane crash near Vryheid on Sunday, had “a fairytale romance” and would not have been able to live without each other, according to family.

The couple, from Meyersdal, Johannesburg, had flown to Vryheid last weekend for the South African Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) convention.

The pair were due home in Meyersdal on Sunday, however, it is believed that due to misty conditions the plane crashed into a mountain in Vryheid and they were both killed.

According to Pilot’s Post — an online aviation magazine — Keuchel was the oldest EAA member at the convention.

The publication said he and Frisch flew his Taylorcraft plane from Vereeniging to Vryheid.

Keuchel and Frisch met in 2016, shortly after both lost their respective spouses and it “was love at first sight” said Frisch’s daughter-in-law, Donne Frisch.

She told The Witness the pair were “inseparable” and “so in love”.

“He called her his princess of Meyersdal. The moment he met her, he fell in love with her and she just loved him. They made each other so happy,” said an emotional Donne.

“It was like a young love, a fairytale. It was just so amazing that they found each other at that age,” she said.

She added she wished the couple had had more time together to love each other.

“Maxine had said a while after meeting Claus that she did not know what she would do if Claus went before her. That is how I know their hearts were together in that plane.”

Donne said that Keuchel spent every weekend at the hangars with Maxine, either flying his plane, or working on little projects.

“He called his plane his mistress and Maxine was his princess.”

She said the two went on numerous adventures during their short time together, likening the couple to “a pair of naughty children”.

“The family is taking strain. It has been very hard.

“Maxine was wonderfully kind and wise. She was an absolute gem, and Claus was loved by everyone in the family and such a darling.”

Donne said Claus did not have children of his own but “inherited” Maxine’s four children, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren and loved them all.

Tributes poured in on social media for the pilot and his partner yesterday.

Friend and fellow aviator Athol Franz posted a moving tribute to Claus on Facebook.

“All EAAers will remember Claus for his gentle nature with a wonderful sense of humour.

“May you travel safely to that Great Hangar in the sky and may your soul rest in peace,” he said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  plane crash

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