The pilot who was killed in a light-aircraft crash near the Umkomazi River Valley on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Sunday has been identified as SA Olympic canoeist Mark Perrow.
He was 54.
Perrow was part of the South African team that participated in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and was also a multiple former Dusi Canoe Marathon winner.
At the Barcelona Games, Perrow was eliminated in the semi-finals of both the K1 1 000m and the K4 1 000m events. He won the Dusi Canoe marathon in 1992 and 1996 alongside Neil Evans and also tasted K2 success with Martin Dreyer in 2000.
Perrow's lone Dusi Canoe Marathon singles victory came in 1999.
“The paddling community is devastated to learn of the passing of Mark Perrow,” Canoeing SA wrote on their Facebook page.
“Mark was one of the greatest paddlers this country has produced. Part of the SA team to the Barcelona Olympics, he was able to dominate at every major South African river marathon race. Competitive but always hugely likable. A family man and a paddling icon. Always in our hearts Hop. RIP.”
Perrow was the only occupant in the aircraft.
"The Johannesburg Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) was activated following reports of an aircraft observed crashing in the Umkhomazi River Valley by a group of kayakers," IPSS spokesperson Paul Herbst said.
Perrow was flying a Sling 4 aircraft.