Film-maker, pilot die in plane crash

CT richard mathews Richard Matthews

Aziz Hartley

CAPE Town wildlife film-maker Richard Matthews and his pilot, Mark Berry, have died in a plane crash in Namibia while filming aerials.

“Richard left for Namibia last week. They were out filming for an international documentary on Sunday and contact was lost with them and they did not return to the lodge in the evening,” Matthews’s business partner, Katharina Pechel, said last night.

“Everybody was thinking they lost contact because there was no signal. On Monday a whole-day search by two planes did not find anything.”

Pechel, Matthews and another business partner, Joe Kennedy, co-owned Table Mountain Films.

During a bigger search involving police helicopters, the wreckage of the small plane Matthews and Berry had used was spotted at about 11am yesterday, she said.

“It seemed there was a bad fire. There were no survivors. It is a huge shock. We were all thrown by this,” she said and added that Matthews would have returned to Cape Town later this week.

In a message on the Table Mountain Films Facebook page, Kennedy and Pechel said their thoughts were with Matthews’s widow, Samantha, and their two children, and Berry’s loved ones.

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