Famous RWC pilot dies

2013-04-25 09:02

Johannesburg - The pilot who famously flew a Boeing 747 jumbo jet over Ellis Park before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final has died. 

Beeld reports that Captain Laurie Kay (68) died after suffering a massive heart attack at the Skukuza aiport in the Kruger National Park on Wednesday.

He had been at the airport as a friend of the park to help fight rhino poaching using a light aircraft. A police helicopter was called in to transport him to the closest hospital, but he passed away en route.

South African National Parks spokesperson Ike Phaahla told Eyewitness News that Kay would be sorely missed. "He was a larger-than-life character. He was a true patriot."

Kay became world famous when, as an SAA pilot, he surprised the crowd at Ellis Park by flying 200 feet above the stadium's higest seat during the 1995 Rugby World Cup final between the Springboks and the All Blacks. 

In world aviation, this feat is still considered to be one of the most daring ever performed with a passenger jet.

Read more on:    travel south africa

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