Date & Time: Oct 5, 2008 at 1538 LT
Type of aircraft:
Inhambane - Nelspruit - Bloemfontein
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Approximately 20 minutes after take-off from FAKN, a witness observed the aircraft flying at an altitude of approximately 1000 ft AGL with the wings level in a southerly direction, overhead the farm, in the direction of the mountains. The witness noted that the aircraft was flying much lower than aircraft would normally fly when they flew over the farm. Thick mist covered approximately one third (1/3) of the top of the mountain at the time. The witness then lost sight of the aircraft and approximately two minutes later he heard an explosion. The witness immediately notified the Kruger Mpumalanga Airport authorities that an aircraft may have been involved in an accident. A search and rescue operation was initiated after the appropriate authorities had been informed. The search and rescue operation that consisted of air and ground searches were hampered by adverse weather conditions in the area from where the witness had heard the explosion emanating. The wreckage was located the following day during the air search operation, approximately 170ft below the mountain top, where the aircraft had impacted with terrain. The aircraft had ploughed through a pine tree plantation, and was destroyed in the impact sequence and by the post-impact fire that had erupted. All the occupants on board the aircraft were fatally injured in the accident.
The pilot encountered adverse weather (IMC) conditions en route during a VFR flight, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) near the top of the mountain.