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03 August 2011

Cause of UCT chopper crash still unknown

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

Lauren Hess, News24

Cape Town - Civil Aviation Authority inspectors said on Wednesday they had “no idea” yet what could have been the cause of a helicopter crash at the University of Cape Town’s main campus.

The Robertson 44 helicopter, which had four occupants, went down at about 09:00, Cape Town Fire and Rescue’s Theo Layne told News24.

UCT said in a statement that the helicopter’s pilot made an emergency landing.

"Eyewitnesses said that the helicopter hit the top of some trees on the side of the road and then immediately afterwards attempted to land," UCT said in a statement.

"During the landing the helicopter tumbled onto its side. The pilot and three passengers were shaken but not visibly hurt."

It crashed into a walkway on middle campus, completely destroying the chopper.

Only the pilot suffered minor injuries.

The crash site was cordoned off with officials keeping media and curious onlookers far back. Several ambulances, fire engines and disaster service vehicles were on the scene.

According to a student on the scene, his friend claimed that the helicopter had “just lost power”. `

Layne said the wreckage can only be moved once officials are sure that it is safe following a fuel leak.

- News24

SAWDIS:  This specific helicopter is well known in Mossel Bay.  It has been seen many times flying around Mossel Bay.  The helicopter is owned by a well known business entity in Mossel Bay. Well done to the pilot in bringing it down without loss of life.  The SAWDIS is glad that nobody sustained serious injuries and it is really a pity that such a beautiful machine will not be seen flying in Mossel Bay anymore.