Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has asked members of the public to refrain from speculating on the cause of the plane crash that claimed five lives at the weekend. The plane crashed in the Tygerberg nature reserve.
“The minister has called on members of the public, regardless of their status in society, who have no expertise in aviation to desist from venturing into unsubstantiated claims/speculation on the possible cause of the crash,” her department said in a statement.
“People ought to act responsibly and acknowledge the loss of lives in this crash. Distraught and bereaved families of those who regrettably perished want accurate reports on the crash and not sheer speculation aimed at causing panic and alarm.
“We urge the investigation team/s to do everything in their power to get to the bottom of the cause of this accident and report back speedily on their findings.”
She offered condolences to the families of the deceased.
“We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate occurrence. Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go to the families of those who lost their lives. The department’s accident and incident investigation team has already been to the scene… and we are also in contact with the Namibian authorities on the matter.”
The ambulance aircraft had carried a Namibian crew and South African patient and his daughter. They were pilot Steven Naude, 53, co-pilot Amore Espag, 23, and paramedic Alfred John Ward.
The South African patient was named as 80-year-old Gabriel le Roux, who died alongside his daughter Charmaine Koortzen, 49, a South African who lives in Oranjemund in Namibia.
Aviation expert Eon de Vos of Crew Resource Management posted on Facebook possible reasons for Sunday’s crash, based on the images released by Emergency Medical Services.
“Appears at this stage [unconfirmed] to be a procedural approach that went wrong. First responders reported very low visibility around the Tygerberg area,” De Vos wrote in a post.
However, Arthur Bradshaw, former general manager of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company (ATNS), said it was unwise to speculate too much about the exact nature of the crash until all the facts were made available.
News24 reported on Sunday that a “technical glitch” with flight systems at Cape Town International Airport caused flight delays for most of Sunday morning.
The glitch is understood to relate to flight slot co-ordination, which allocates an order for incoming and departing air traffic.
ATNS spokesperson Percy Morokane said the technical failure “could have been experienced anywhere in the world”.
Morokane said the air crash involving an aero-medical fixed-wing aircraft could not be linked to the system failure. News24