South African High School Girl Killed In Solo Aircraft Flying Lesson
2 July 2020
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Anika de Beer

A Grade 11 pupil at Hoërskool Montana in Pretoria, Gauteng, died when the light aircraft she was flying in crashed after take-off at Wonderboom Airport on Tuesday.

Anika de Beer dreamt of completing her pilot’s licence and had completed her first solo flight a few days before the fatal crash.

The school wrote in a tribute on its Facebook page: “Our deepest condolences to Anika’s parents, family, friends and all who loved her. We think of you in our prayers. May you experience the Lord’s nearness and comfort at this time.”

Kabelo Ledwaba, spokesperson of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), said the Accident and Incident Investigation Division has started investigating the accident.

“The light aircraft, a type called Piper Cherokee 28A-180, was undertaking a training flight when the accident happened,” Ledwaba said.

The aircraft had taken-off from Wonderboom Airport and was intending to land back at the same airport.

“The evidence collection phase has begun, and this phase will define the size and scope of the investigation as well as the anticipated time-frame for the completion of a final report.

“It is vital to point out that investigations can vary in complexity and may at times take longer to complete,” Ledwaba emphasised.

“However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the investigating team will then immediately notify relevant parties so that appropriate action can be taken.”

He said a preliminary report would be issued within 30 days of the day of this accident.

More than 100 tributes from friends and well-wishers had poured in by Wednesday.