Four people died when two aircraft collided in midair in Gauteng on Monday night, 26 April. The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) announced the tragic accident on Tuesday.
SACAA spokesperson, Kabelo Ledwaba, said the Civil Aviation Authority’s investigations unit was at the scene of the accident near Grasmere in the south of Gauteng.
According to Ledwaba, SACAA’s investigation unit is gathering evidence at the scene trying to piece together the events that unfolded on Monday night when four people were killed in a mid-flight collision between two light aircraft .
He said investigations would help the Civil Aviation Authority determine the size, scope and timeframe of the investigation, as every crash is different and the time it takes to complete varies.
An aircraft investigation is meant to determine the reason, or probable cause, of a crash and – if it is necessary – make safety recommendations that will help avoid similar accidents from the same causes, said Ledwaba.
“A preliminary report will be issued within 30 days from the date of this accident,” said Ledwaba.
“In instances where an investigation takes longer than 12 months to complete, the investigation team is expected to issue an interim statement to indicate the progress made at that particular point in time,” he added.
Once the investigation is complete, a final accident report will be released.
Just last month, on 17 March, at the Swartkop Air Force Base in Gauteng, two people died when a plane that belonged to the South African Air Force (SAAF) crashed and burned. The aircraft, a Patchen Explorer, belonged to the SAAF Museum and two retired Air Force members perished in the crash.
In that crash, experts said a phenomenon known as “carb icing” was to blame. It can cause any carburettor to freeze in certain weather conditions. Witnesses reportedly saw the plane flying overhead making a sputtering sound, which was possibly due to carb icing.