Plane crash: 'Two Eagles on their last flight'

2017-09-05 22:28
Annene le Roux (left) and Ben Laas (right) died in a plane crash near Magaliesburg on Sunday. (Facebook)

Annene le Roux (left) and Ben Laas (right) died in a plane crash near Magaliesburg on Sunday. (Facebook)

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Pretoria - "Two Eagles on their last flight." 

That's how the Eagle Air flight school at Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria on Monday bid farewell in a post on their Facebook page to two pilots, Annene le Roux and Ben Laas.

Le Roux, 23, and Laas, 24, died on Sunday afternoon when their Cessna crashed near Magaliesburg, Netwerk24 reported.

Police say the accident happened between 11:00 and 12:00 near Nooitgedacht, Hekpoort.

Le Roux was a student co-ordinator at the flight school and Laas a pilot.

According to Le Roux's Facebook page, she trained for her commercial pilot's licence at Eagle Air and for a private pilot licence at the Loutzavia flight school at Onderstepoort in Pretoria.

"Annene was an integral part of the Eagle team. The void which she leaves will never be filled.

"Ben and Annene, we will miss you."

Friends and loved-ones have been leaving messages of condolence on both Le Roux and Laas’ Facebook pages.

Kobus Grové wrote on Le Roux's page: "Rest softly. Now your air miles in heaven are worth much more than on earth."

Simone Taljaard's message to Laas was: "Benna... my heart is broken. But Jesus came to fetch you... I think we are all very sad to let you go... but I know you are going to have a blast with our heavenly father... We are going to miss you Benna. Rest in Peace."  

Crash near vulture rehab centre

The crash happened about 300m from a group of vultures.

Kerri Wolter, the founding member of the Vulture Rehabilitation Centre in Hartbeespoort, North West, said the plane crashed near a pen where about 30 rehabilitated vultures were being kept ahead of their release.

About 300m away, there is a colony of about 500 vultures, among them 150 breeding pairs.

According to Wolter, it is a restricted flight zone and planes aren’t allowed to fly lower than 760m over it.

She said planes weren’t allowed to fly there because they might fly into a vulture, which could be fatal for those in the plane as well as the vultures.

"That area has been out of bounds for planes for years. We aren't sure if any of the vultures were hurt in the incident. An investigation will determine that."

Wolter said the specific colony of vultures is of the utmost importance. "The colony was almost wiped out by 1991, but has since started breeding again after several interventions.

"The numbers have increased to 150 breeding pairs. If one includes the others who are not breeding, there could be between 500 and 600."

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  pretoria  |  plane crashes

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