Helicopter owners speak on crash
Blessings Chidakwa-Herald Reporter
Investigations are now underway to establish the cause of Sunday’s helicopter crash, which killed the pilot on the spot in the Mhondoro-Chivero erea.
The R44 helicopter crashed in Lothin Farm popularly known as kwaJojo in Mhondoro-Chivero area last Sunday killing Captain Peter Chirimuuta (33).
Owners of the helicopter, who pleaded for anonymity said they had been in possession of the R44 helicopter for more than a year now.
The owners said when it crashed it was on its way from Kwekwe where it took off at 12:05 pm and was expected to land in Harare at 1pm.
“The helicopter had no previous mechanical or technical issues. When it crashed I was actually waiting for it at Charles Prince Airport so that I could take the pilot home. As of the cause of the accident, everything so far is still under investigation,” said the owners.
A day before the tragic event, the late Captain Chirimuuta had flown comedienne Felistas Murata popularly known as Mai TT to her wedding venue.
President of the Employers Association for Tours and Safari Operations Mr Clement Mukwasi said they were saddened by the death of the pilot.
“We are actually very shocked and concerned about the accident involving the death of the pilot.
“Loss of life is always tragic. We are however, waiting for the authorities to get to the bottom of the matter,” he said.
The firm operates charter flights from its bases in Victoria Falls and Harare where it hires out its aircraft to different destinations across the country.
When The Herald visited the accident scene on Monday, the wreckage of the helicopter was still in the mountain where it crashed, a stone’s throw away from a homestead.
Two police officers were guarding the wreckage, with some pieces from the wings seen hanging on a tree about 10 metres away.
An eyewitness, Mr Musekiwa Mapunde said: “It seemed as if the pilot wanted to fly past trees in the mountain but failed, resulting in the helicopter hitting a tree branch and within seconds, we heard a loud bang.”