File picture of a microlight. Picture: Jennifer Bruce
File picture of a microlight. Picture: Jennifer Bruce

Aviation authority probes Ballito fatal light aircraft crash

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Mar 18, 2021

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Durban –POLICE in KwaZulu-Natal are investigating inquests after two people were killed following a light aircraft crash in Ballito, north of the Durban CBD, on Wednesday morning.

According to provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele, at around 9:30am, the microlight crashed at the sugar cane fields in Ballito.

“A 46-year-old pilot and a passenger aged 59 were declared dead at the scene. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated,” Mbele said.

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson, Paul Herbst, added that both the pilot and passenger were deceased at the scene and were found about an hour-and-a-half after the crash.

Speaking to IOL, Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson, Kabelo Ledwaba, confirmed the incident.

“The Accident and Incident Investigation Division  (AIID) is aware of a fatal aircraft accident reported in Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal. There were two people on-board. Unfortunately both occupants were fatality injured. Investigators have been dispatched to commence with the on-site investigation phase,” he said.

Ledwaba said the aircraft was operated as part of a training exercise.

In a separate crash, two highly experienced former SA Air Force fighter pilots were killed in a crash at the Swartkop Air Force Base in Pretoria yesterday.

According to reports, General Des Barker and Colonel Rama Iyer were killed on impact when the aircraft burst into flames while landing.

Tributes have been pouring in for the two men who both retired from their full-time roles and were reserve pilots.

They were flying a single-engine Patchen Explorer reconnaissance aircraft

IOL

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