Monday, July 01, 2013

Private plane crash kills 2 near Francistown International Airport, Botswana

Two people died in a private plane crash in northern Botswana, the southern African country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB) said on Monday.

The crash occurred Saturday in a bushy area, 5 km northwest of the Francistown International Airport in the country's second largest city, where it was supposed to land for fueling purposes, CAAB spokesperson Modipe Nkwe confirmed to Xinhua.

He said the South Africa-registered plane is an Embraer 135 jet. The jet had taken off the Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg and its destination was assumed to be Angola, he said.

"It is a regular plane on our skies," said Nkwe, adding that the plane had been awarded a flying route through "our skies."

"Our sky controllers lost communication with the operating pilot of the private plane and eventually could not locate," he said.

Nkwe said the controllers checked with airstrips around the northeastern part of Botswana but still failed to locate it and immediately launched a search, only to find it in the bushy area, some five kilometers northwest of the Francistown International Airport.

"The expectation was that the plane had to land at the Francistown International Airport to refill the fuel," he said.

The cause is still under investigation by the Ministry of Communication and Transport through its Aviation Investigation Unit, Nkwe said.

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