Fatal week for flying

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In less than a week, four people have died in three separate light aircraft crashes in KwaZulu-Natal.

The most recent was in Greytown on Friday night, in which two people were killed.

According to reports, the aircraft crashed in a plantation 3km from the Midlands town.

The plane, a Cessna 206, burst into flames, setting several trees on fire and felling others.

The two died on impact.

Civil Aviation Authority officials went to the crash site yesterday to investigate the cause of the accident.

Also on Friday, two people were involved in a crash landing on Virginia Beach, adjacent to Durban’s Virginia Airport.

The pilot, Mark Carstens, was forced to make an emergency landing when the engine of his Yak 52 failed.

While the plane suffered some damage, neither person was injured.

The plane was removed from the beach on Saturday.

These incidents happened just six days after Hazel Nash died when the Rally aircraft of her partner, Rob Mirtle, crashed doing an emergency landing at the Margate airport.

Mirtle died in Durban’s St Augustine’s Hospital a few days later.

Both had suffered extensive burns in the crash.

The engine of Mirtle’s plane cut out shortly after take-off, and while he was able to get the plane back on the runway, momentum carried the aircraft down the runway, through a fence and then down a steep embankment. It then caught alight.

Sunday Tribune

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