Authorities investigate how well-known PE pilot crashed in Mossel Bay

MAY 12, 2016

The Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa is to probe how a light aircraft crashed on a game reserve in the Herbersdale area, near Mossel Bay, on Wednesday morning killing well-known Port Elizabeth pilot, Keith Patterson.

He was reportedly flying to Cape Town to pick up a buyer for his aircraft.

According to ER24, their paramedics, along with Fire Services, arrived on the scene to find the wrecked aircraft in the bushes.
"A trail of debris had been left from where the plane had crashed into the ground and had slide for some distance.

Paramedics searched the area and found the pilots body lying some distance away from the aircraft," the company said.

"Unfortunately, the pilot had already succumbed to his multiple fatal injuries. Nothing more could be done for the patient and he was declared dead on scene."

On Wednesday afternoon, the Attie Niemann, Chief Executive Officer of 43 Air School in Port Alfred, released the statement below;

It is with the greatest of sadness that we share with you the heart-breaking news of the untimely death of our colleague, friend and partner,Grade 1 Instructor and DE (Designated Instructor) SAA Senior Airline Training Captain Keith Paterson (51) in a fatal aircraft accident.

I’ve been informed that Keith died around noon when he crashed in his beloved ex aircraft RV 7 near George. Keith was solo in the aircraft and was doing a ferry to Cape Town for a friend who bought the plane form him a while back.

Obviously, it’s way too early to speculate what must have gone wrong, but knowing the fine Aviator he was it must have been due to a serious malfunction or problem he experienced.

Keith was one of the most professional Aviators and pilots I have ever had the privilege of flying with and he will leave a huge void in our hearts and in aviation circles.

Not only was he a very experienced professional top Airline Training Captain at SAA but also a really leading edge aviation trailblazer in General Aviation training and cutting edge Next Generation Airline Pilot Training.

On behalf of all of us here at both PTC Aviation and 43 Air school and the wider aviation community, we pause to pay our respects to this great Aviator with sadness and loss.

To Mel & Ross and his next of kin, our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy. Remember we stand by you now and always.

Keith will be deeply missed, leaving behind now only those fond memories we have of him.

As untimely as his death is we should not only grieve his death, but rather, celebrate his life. That sounds just like him doesn’t it? Keith always did enjoy life to the fullest, didn’t he?

His positive outlook on life was most admirable, even contagious, some would say. He always had a smile for everyone and was highly regarded by everyone who met him.

Back when we started PTC Aviation he took on the position of Head of Training and partner. Regardless of the challenges he may have had along the way, everyone who’d ever had the privilege of working with him always found him a special pleasure to work with. This was the extraordinary person Keith was.

This is truly a great loss to our companies and organization and to our aviation community as a whole.

He will be profoundly missed by everyone whose lives he touched.

Nevertheless, let us all remember Keith each time, with a smile upon our faces.

Rest in Peace my friend you will be missed.

Main image: ER24