Investigations in plane crash continue

08 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
Investigations in plane crash continue Assistant Commissioner Nyathi

The Herald

Crime Reporter

Police are still conducting investigations in the case in which two people were killed when a microlight airplane caught fire in the Mazowe area.

The accident occurred on November 4 around 1720hrs.

In an interview yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “We are still conducting investigations and more details will be released in due course.”

He said the two occupants were burnt beyond recognition and had identified one of them as Antony Mitchell (64) of Avondale, Harare.

In a statement over the weekend, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said the aircraft departed Komani Airfield and was scheduled to land at the same airfield after a training sort/flight.

“Antony Mitchell previously owned aircraft Z-BEE which he had sold to Allister Stobart,” he said. “Allister Stobart was in the Republic of South Africa at the time of the accident. Allister Stobart requested the previous owner, Antony Mitchell, to conduct a type conversion training on Garry Bissette.

“Garry Bissette was an instructor on Zimbabwe Microlight Association Non-Type certificated aircraft and several other Non-Type Certificated aircraft. He held a Zimbabwe recreational aircraft pilot licence and his total flying time was estimated to over 1 500hrs.”

Some aviation qualifications he held included a full radio licence issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.

Bissette was not a holder of any flying licence or rating issued/granted by any Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority.

Minister Mhona said on the day of the accident, Garry Bissette was receiving type conversion training on Z-BEE, a Sting S14 aircraft, while Antony Mitchell was the training pilot/ instructor.

“The aircraft engine caught fire while the aircraft was flying over Esbank Farm, in Mazowe farming and mining area,” he said. “The fire swept across the aircraft cabin and other sections of the aircraft.

Both occupants of the aircraft were killed and the aircraft completely destroyed in the accident.

“Plexiglass with ballistic chute circle was found off to the left of the flight path and about 100m before the first point of aircraft first impact with the ground,” said Minister Mhona. “While the chute, meant to carry the aircraft when deployed in an emergency, was found 50m from the first point of impact, with its suspension tethers burnt through by the fire.”

Investigations by the Air Accidents and Incidents Investigation Department, under the Ministry of Transport, are in progress. In January, four people aboard a single-engine Cessna plane survived when they crash-landed in Binga, after the engine failed soon after take-off from Kariba. The four were British and Singaporeans with business interests in the country.

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