Investigations are under way into a plane crash that claimed the life of 22-year-old pilot Corlia Strydom in Kroonstad, Free State, on Wednesday.
Strydom, who was the sole occupant on board, suffered fatal injuries when the aircraft crashed and exploded during her final assessment to become a crop-spray pilot.
South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) spokesperson Sisa Majola said a preliminary report will be issued in 30 days from the day of the accident.
“The Accident and Incident Investigations Division (AIID) was informed of a fatal accident involving a Piper PA-25 Pawnee fixed-wing aircraft that occurred just outside the airfield in Kroonstad, Free State, on Wednesday, October 11. The pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, suffered fatal injuries. The aircraft itself sustained substantial damage on impact.
“The AIID has dispatched investigators to the accident and is in the process of collecting evidence that will define the size as well as the scope of the investigation once more information is available,” he said.
Majola added that in instances where an investigation takes longer than 12 months to complete, the AIID will issue an interim statement to indicate the progress made up to that point.
“Should a critical safety issue be identified, the AIID will issue urgent recommendations to the relevant parties so that appropriate action can be taken to prevent a recurrence,” he said.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Josephine Rani said an inquest was registered for investigation.
“A 22-year-old female died after the aircraft she was flying crashed. It is alleged that on Wednesday, she took off with her crop-spray single-seat aircraft at Kroonstad aircraft for her final assessment to become a crop-spray pilot.
“At about 1km from the airfield, the aircraft crashed and exploded. An inquest has been registered and the investigation continues,” Rani said.
Tributes have since been pouring in for the 22-year-old on social media.