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16 December 2011

CAA investigating Centurion plane crash


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Pretoria - Investigations are underway after a plane crash landed onto a car in Centurion, said the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Thursday.

"CAA has begun the process of investigating the cause of a light aircraft accident that occurred on Wednesday around 6.30pm [18:30] near Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria," said spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba.

A pilot and a passenger took off from the Zwartkops Air Force Base on Wednesday for a low-level flight and were supposed to return later in the day, said Ledwaba.

"According to eyewitnesses, it would seem that the pilot was attempting to execute a forced emergency landing on the R55 road."

"Unfortunately, the road was busy at the time and as a result the aircraft hit the roof of a vehicle that was travelling toward Laudium."

Upon impact, the aircraft was destroyed and both the pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

"The driver and passengers who were travelling in the vehicle were unharmed," said Ledwaba.

According to CAA, 104 aircraft accidents have been reported this year, compared to 147 in 2010 and 126 in 2009.

In terms of fatalities, there were 30 in 2009, 24 in 2010 and 38 this year.

"Even though the number of accidents reported is thus far lower than in recent years, we are concerned with the gradual increase of the number of fatalities as a result of these accidents," said acting director of CAA Zakhele Thwala.

- SAPA/News24