Friday, September 28, 2018

Taylorcraft BC12-D, ZS-BLD: Fatal accident occurred April 29, 2018 in Vryheid, Sangoma, Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Maxine Frisch and Claus Keuchel

NTSB Identification: WPR18WA138
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Sunday, April 29, 2018 in Vryheid, South Africa
Aircraft: TAYLORCRAFT BC12, registration:
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On April 29, 2018, at 1110 coordinated universal time, a Taylorcraft BC 12-D airplane, registration ZS-BLD, sustained substantial damage under unknown circumstances following a departure from Vryheid Aerodrome (FAVY), Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Both occupants were fatally injured.

The Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa, Accident & Incident Investigation Division (AIID) is investigating the accident. As the state of manufacture of the airplane, the NTSB has designated a US accredited representative to assist the AIID in its investigation.

All inquiries concerning this accident should be directed to:

South African Civil Aviation Authority

Accidents and Incidents Investigation Division
Private Bag X 73
Halfway House 1685
South Africa

An octogenarian pilot and his woman friend died when their plane crashed into a mountain near Vryheid while on a joyride on Sunday.

The pilot (85), whose name is known to The Witness, had taken his 82-year-old woman friend on an excursion in the skies at the weekend when the tragedy occurred.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said although the crash occurred on Sunday, the wreckage of the aircraft was only found early on Monday morning by a Vryheid farmer.

Zwane could not confirm where the couple were from as he said the police were waiting for the next of kin to come forward.

“A local farmer at Vryheid noticed something on the mountain and went to investigate. He found that it was a light aircraft that crashed,” he said.

“Two bodies were found burnt and police were called to attend.”

He said a case of culpable homicide was opened at Vryheid police station.

Zwane added that the cause of the crash is thought to be misty conditions on Sunday afternoon.

Fellow aviators around the province said the man had been the oldest pilot to fly in a fixed wing aircraft in the country.

South African Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said as soon as the authority was notified of the crash, a team of investigators were sent to establish the possible cause of the accident.

“Details are still sketchy at this point, however, we can confirm that the wreckage was discovered this morning on a farm about 15 km from the Vryheid airport,” he said.

“The type of aircraft involved in this accident is known as the Taylorcraft [model BC 12-D].”

Ledwaba said that investigations into plane crashes can vary in complexity and might take time to complete.

He said the completion of any investigation is marked by the release of a final accident report, which contains safety recommendations aimed at improving the levels of safety and preventing a similar accident.

Ledwaba added that all pilots are expected to have a valid pilot’s licence and be medically fit in order to fly.

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