Pilot (85), friend killed in crash

2018-05-01 16:15
The wreckage of the plane that crashed in Vryheid on Sunday, killing an elderly pilot and his friend.

The wreckage of the plane that crashed in Vryheid on Sunday, killing an elderly pilot and his friend. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

An octogenarian pilot and his woman friend died when their plane crashed into a mountain near Vryheid while on a joyride on Sunday.

The pilot (85), whose name is known to The Witness, had taken his 82-year-old woman friend on an excursion in the skies at the weekend when the tragedy occurred.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said although the crash occurred on Sunday, the wreckage of the aircraft was only found early on Monday morning by a Vryheid farmer.

Zwane could not confirm where the couple were from as he said the police were waiting for the next of kin to come forward.

“A local farmer at Vryheid noticed something on the mountain and went to investigate. He found that it was a light aircraft that crashed,” he said.

“Two bodies were found burnt and police were called to attend.”

He said a case of culpable homicide was opened at Vryheid police station.

Zwane added that the cause of the crash is thought to be misty conditions on Sunday afternoon.

Fellow aviators around the province said the man had been the oldest pilot to fly in a fixed wing aircraft in the country.

South African Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said as soon as the authority was notified of the crash, a team of investigators were sent to establish the possible cause of the accident.

“Details are still sketchy at this point, however, we can confirm that the wreckage was discovered this morning on a farm about 15 km from the Vryheid airport,” he said.

“The type of aircraft involved in this accident is known as the Taylorcraft [model BC 12-D].”

Ledwaba said that investigations into plane crashes can vary in complexity and might take time to complete.

He said the completion of any investigation is marked by the release of a final accident report, which contains safety recommendations aimed at improving the levels of safety and preventing a similar accident.

Ledwaba added that all pilots are expected to have a valid pilot’s licence and be medically fit in order to fly.

Investigations are ongoing.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  plane crash

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.