Tzaneen crash

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They knew the pilot of that fatal flight would have done everything in his power to protect their little angels.

Even so, Andrew and Bronwyn Doak’s daughters Alexandra (10) and Maddison (7) died along with 11 other people when two Albatross aircraft crashed near Tzaneen last week. (Picture above: Bronwyn and Andrew Doak with daughters Alexandra (left) and Maddison.

The pilot, their uncle Brian Gruar, loved the girls, their devastated parents say. “Alex and Maddy were like his grandchildren and to them he was like a grandfather,” Bronwyn says between sobs.

It’s barely a day since they received the terrible news that the aircraft carrying their daughters had flown into a mountain and there were no survivors.

The pilots had flown the two Albatross planes in an air show on Saturday 13 August and on the Sunday were returning to Johannesburg when the tragic accident happened.

Andrea Pace also received a call on the Sunday afternoon with the dreaded news that two planes had gone missing.

Her life partner, Peter van Oldenborgh, and his son Stuart (15) were on one of them.

“When I got the call my heart stopped. I knew what it meant,” she wrote in an e-mail to YOU.

She’d sent Peter an SMS that morning asking him for money to buy a painting. His jokey response was typical, “No money, honey!” Little did she know at the time these would be his last words to her.

Read more in YOU 25 August 2011.

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