CAA worried about 28 plane crashes just this year

File photo. The scene at Lanseria airport where three people died when a private aircraft crashed on 3 February 2014. Picture: Michel Bega

The 28 fatal and non-fatal plane accidents that occurred in the country since the beginning of the year are disturbing, the SA Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said yesterday.

A report detailing the recent increase of plane accidents indicated that 11 people had died in reported crashes between January 1 and February 18.

CAA director of civil aviation Poppy Khoza said the numbers were significantly higher, compared to the same period for the last two years.

“While we await the outcome of the investigations into the causes of the accidents the CAA will be vigilant to ensure proper conduct by all training organisations and aviators,” said Khoza.

“The authority will continue to collaborate with the industry to consistently provide solutions that would ensure South Africa’s general aviation sector ultimately ranks among the safest in the world.”

All the accidents had occurred in the general aviation – and not the scheduled commercial airlines sector.

The general aviation sector consisted mainly of privately-owned small aircrafts and recreational aircrafts.

A total of six accidents in January claimed six lives, while three accidents reported since the beginning of February, claimed five lives.

This included the Beechcraft 90 series King Air which crash- landed at Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg earlier this month, leaving three dead.

A team of specialist groups are currently conducting the investigation into the crash, which would include collection and ana-lysis of all relevant facts, issues of safety recommendations and the production of an International Civil Aviation Organisation-style report.

The investigation would take nine months to a year to be completed, according to Zakhele Thwala, deputy director-general of civil aviation at the transport department.

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