Ricochet News

UPDATE: One person dead after light aircraft crash in Port Elizabeth

Jun 11, 2018
UPDATE: One person dead after light aircraft crash in Port Elizabeth

Police in Port Elizabeth on Monday confirmed that one person died after a light aircraft crashed into cliffs in the City's Baakens Valley sending plumes of smoke that could be seen from across the Bay.

Police have since opened an inquest docket following the death of  the pilot. 

"It is alleged that at about 14:15, the Fish Eagle two seater aircraft caught alight after crashing," described police spokesperson, Col Priscilla Naidu.

"Circumstances surrounding the cause of the accident is yet to be investigated. The pilot (approx. age 47-55) was alone and died on impact.

"His body was recovered by search and rescue workers."

She said that his identity is withheld until next of kin has been informed.

"The wreckage will be taken to the PE airport where civil aviation will conduct a forensic investigation to determine the fatal cause of the crash." 

In video footage from CCTV cameras at adjacent buildings, which has been shared online, the plane can be seen gliding in a somewhat steep dive before crashing into the cliffs just below a block of luxury flats known as the Knysna Apartment block in Walmer.

The flats overlook the Baakens Valley and are adjacent to a popular park called Settlers Park.

There are a number of flight schools and charter plane companies operating out of the Port Elizabeth International Airport, which is less than 10km south of the crash site.

The light aircraft had apparently just taken off the airport when it crashed.

Main image; Coutersy of Precision Tow-in Services