Fly forever, little sister

By admin
18 February 2011

She was far from home, it was 3 am and she was stargazing. Suddenly Bronwyn Parsons knew what career she wanted: she would become a pilot.

Little did she know years later her older sister would have to describe her appearance to rescue teams on Plettenberg Bay Beach in the hope that her remains might be identified.

Bronwyn was the pilot of the doomed Italtile company aircraft that went missing in thick mist earlier this month and ended up in the sea near Plett.

All nine people on board were killed, including the bubbly pilot who had often told her sister, Jax Parsons (35), she wanted to carry on flying until she was an old lady.

Bronwyn also used to joke she would never grow older than 34. She was 32 when she died in the still unexplained crash. “Bronwyn was very good at flying; she would have done everything in her power to save everyone on that plane,” says her friend of just more than a year, Belinda Louw (47).

She was also used to rough conditions, such as those in parts of Africa where runways are nothing more than short, stubbly mealie fields.

The night before the plane was found was one of the longest Jax has ever experienced. The moment she heard the flight her little sister had been piloting was missing she jumped in her car and drove through the darkness from Cape Town to Plett.

When she arrived at 5 am rescue teams and curious onlookers had gathered on the main beach. Soon afterwards over the control radio they heard someone give the coordinates of wreckage that had been found.

When the remains of the first victim were discovered Jax gave up all hope Bronwyn might still be alive.

Bronwyn had worked at flight schools in America and Namibia before flying for Nationwide Airlines in South Africa.

“But Bon didn’t like flying the big planes,” Jax says. That was why becoming Italtile’s corporate pilot three years ago was her dream job.

Relatives and friends of the passionate young pilot and the eight other victims of the air tragedy are trying to come to terms with what happened.

The Parsons family will say goodbye to Bronwyn at a gathering on her parents’ farm near Klapmuts in the Stellenbosch district. They’ll celebrate her life with cake and champagne because that’s what she would have wanted.

Read the full article in YOU, 24 February 2011.

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