Two people die after light aircraft crashes on farm

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Two people died after the light aircraft they were travelling in crashed in Gqeberha.
Two people died after the light aircraft they were travelling in crashed in Gqeberha.
PHOTO: André Damons
  • Two people died in a plane crash in the Eastern Cape.
  • The aircraft had been travelling between Kenton-on-Sea and Gqeberha.
  • The plane was found during a search operation on Sunday morning.

Two people died after the light aircraft they were travelling in crashed on a farm in Kinkelbos, Gqeberha, on Saturday.

According to police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu, the two died on impact.

"The pilots, aged 25 and 33, left Dawid Stuurman Airport at about 18:15 [on Saturday] night en route to East London. However, they turned the Sling 2 aircraft around at Kenton-on-Sea and headed back towards Gqeberha. At about 20:07, communication with the aircraft was lost," said Naidu.

At about 22:00, a team was dispatched to search for the missing aircraft.

The search was abandoned on Sunday at 02:30 and resumed at 07:00.

The rescue team was assisted by the SA Air Force and the Mountain Club of SA.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) also joined in the search.

WATCH | Two injured after light aircraft crashes on busy road near Stellenbosch 

Ian Gray, NSRI Gqeberha duty controller, said the crew was activated at 22:20 to assist in a search operation along the coastline between Gqeberha and Kenton-on-Sea.

The NSRI dispatched a rescue vehicle and crew and searched areas along the coastline and inland while NSRI duty controllers assisted in narrowing down the search area based on the last radar contact and flight plan of the aircraft.

"During the early hours of the morning, the search area was narrowed down to be about 10 kilometres northeast of Gqeberha. During the morning of Sunday, 26 June, an SA Air Force 15 Squadron Charlie Flight, BK117 helicopter accompanied by police, and Eastern Cape EMS located the aircraft accident site," said Gray.

Both pilots were declared dead on the scene, added Naidu.

"Police are investigating an inquest. A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of their deaths. Their names are being withheld until the next of kin has been informed," she said.

The cause of the crash will be investigated by civil aviation authorities, added Naidu.

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