Pilot injured while pursuing suspected poachers at Kruger

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Police. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)
Police. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

A pilot was injured when a SANParks fixed-wing aircraft went down in the Kingfisherspruit section of the Kruger National Park on Saturday afternoon.

The aircraft, a Foxbat Bantam, was on an anti-poaching mission when it went down while in pursuit of suspected poachers, park spokesperson Ike Phaahla said in a statement.

Initial investigations indicate that engine failure resulted in the hard landing.

“Details are still sketchy at the moment, but no fatalities have been reported,” he said.

“The pilot has been assessed by the Skukuza resident doctor and is being flown to Nelspruit MediClinic for a thorough check up after sustaining a gash to his head and minor lacerations.”

Managing executive of the Kruger National Park Glenn Phillips said he was relieved that no one was killed.

“We are grateful that the pilot seems fine at this stage and we will give him all the support to get through this traumatic experience. Our prayers are with him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

The cause of the incident is being investigated.

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