PORT ELIZABETH - One person has died after a light aircraft crashed into a ridge in the Baakens Valley Nature Reserve in Port Elizabeth and burst into flames on Monday.

Police spokeswoman, Colonel Priscilla Naidu, confirmed the fatality and said the next of kin still needed to be informed.

Naidu said it was a Fish Eagle aircraft that crashed and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would pursue further forensic investigations.

In the meanwhile, the CAA said a team of accident and incident investigators have been dispatched to Port Elizabeth to kickstart the probe.

The CAA said that information was sketchy but the crash had happened shortly after take off from the Port Elizabeth International Airport.

CAA spokesperson, Kabelo Ledwaba said the aircraft was consumed by a post impact fire.

"The completion of an investigation is marked by the release of a final accident report, which would contain the probable cause and safety recommendations aimed at improving the levels of safety and preventing a similar accident. Investigations can vary in complexity and may at times take a significant time to complete.

"However, in instances where an investigation takes longer than 12 months, the investigation team would then issue an interim statement to indicate progress at that particular point," said Lebwaba.

An ANA reporter saw the small plane circling in the Baakens Valley at around 2:30pm. Shortly afterwards loud banging noises were heard and black smoke could be seen just below the ridge line of the valley.

Emergency teams were at the scene within minutes of the crash.

African News Agency(ANA)