Aviation News

December 15, 2011

Small Plane Crashes Onto Highway in South Africa, Killing Two

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By: BNO News
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Two people were killed early Wednesday evening when a small plane crashed onto a busy highway in the northern region of South Africa, emergency officials said. Three people were injured.

The accident happened when the small aircraft crashed on the R55 road near the Zwartkops Raceway in Erasmia, a small town near the South African executive capital of Pretoria. A vehicle on the highway was struck by the aircraft.

“Common cause information suggests that the light aircraft had been traveling west when it plunged to the Earth,” said Jeffrey Wicks, a spokesman for the Netcare 911 ambulance service. “The point of impact was on the R55 and the wreckage struck a light motor vehicle traveling on the road.”

Wicks said paramedics responded after receiving a ‘frantic’ emergency call from a person who witnessed the accident. “On arrival they found the wreckage of the plane in the center reservation,” he said. “The car that it had struck had skidded to a halt nearby.”

Both the pilot and the co-pilot, the only people on board the plane, were killed. “They had died from significant trauma they had sustained,” Wicks said. “The [three] occupants of the car were treated and stabilized at the scene by medics and transported by ambulance to a local hospital.”

The ambulance service spokesman said it was not immediately known if the plane, which likely belonged to a training school nearby, was attempting to land on the road. “The cause of the crash and the series of events leading up to it remain unclear and will form the subject of a Civil Aviation Authority investigation,” he added.

In mid-August, thirteen people were killed when two Albatross planes crashed in a mountainous area of steep cliffs near Tzaneen, a town located in the Mopani district of Limpopo province. The planes had both taken off from a landing strip in Tzaneen and were heading to Rand Airport in Germiston.

Also this year, in early February, Italtile CEO Gian-Paolo Ravazzotti Ravazzotti and eight of his colleagues and business partners were killed when his business plane crashed in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.