Pilot was unfit to fly, probe finds

The plane in which Donbaldt Noa died was flown by a pilot whose licence had not been renewed by the aviation authorities on medical grounds.

12 January 2021 | Accidents

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The 40-year-old pilot who crashed a gyrocopter on 17 December 2020 just outside of Windhoek did not have a valid licence to fly the aircraft, Namibian Sun can reveal.

The information is contained in a preliminary report by the Directorate of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigations. According to the report, the engine of the gyrocopter had no mechanical defects and it had all the required aviation licensing needed to fly.

A passenger was killed in the crash while the pilot, Pierre Blaauw, died the following day in hospital due to extensive injuries sustained in the accident.

The passenger was identified as Donbaldt Noa. He is the son of Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia (ACC) director general, Paulus Noa.

According to the just published preliminary report, Blaauw's licence was invalid by a non-renewal of his medical certificate and failure to maintain proficiency.





“The last medical assessment done declared the pilot medically unfit on 23 June 2020,” the report read.







Struck power lines



The crash occurred at about 14:20 between Klein Windhoek and the Kappsfarm road block on the Hosea Kutako International Airport main road, about 15km from Windhoek.



Investigators found that the Namibian-registered gyrocopter took off from Eros airport at around 14:02 for a private flight, flying over Heja Lodge and returning to the airport.



The flight was cleared by air traffic control for an altitude of 7 000 feet, with only the pilot and one passenger on board, according to the report.



“The gyrocopter hit power lines, crash-landed on the road and burst into flames. It was consumed by the fire before the arrival of the fire fighters about 30 minutes later.”



The power lines, approximately 20 to 30 feet from the ground, are well below the cleared altitude of 7 000 feet, the report noted.







No distress call



According to the report, air traffic control did not receive a distress call.



It said the directorate of aircraft accident investigations was informed about the crash by a member of the public driving on the road.



The department immediately activated the response procedures and commenced with its investigation on site.



According to the report, the wreckage was removed and transported to a safe location at the Eros airport for an in-depth investigation. The department has also contacted the state of manufacture in accordance with international protocols.



Wider systematic issues emanating from the gyrocopter's operations were also explored; however, a full investigation is still underway.







Investigations continue



It was found that the gyrocopter had a valid Special Certificate of Airworthiness (Authority to Fly) - permit number SFPM-039-2020 - which is valid until 23 June in accordance to civil authority regulations.



The last annual inspection carried out on the aircraft prior to the accident took place on 6 August 2020.



“The gyrocopter had flown a further two hours since the inspection was signed out,” the report read.



The engine teardown was done on 18 December and no mechanical defects could be detected.



According to investigator in charge Hafeni Mweshixwa, the investigation continues. This will include the collection and analysis of meteorological information, pilot training records, air traffic control response activities, maintenance organisation practices and the regulator's surveillance.

Similar News

 

Three die in car crash at Okakarara

4 days ago - 12 April 2021 | Accidents

NAMPA OKAKARARAThree men died instantly on Saturday after the sedan they were travelling in overturned and crashed into a concrete wall...

Bloody Easter weekend claims 16

1 week ago - 08 April 2021 | Accidents

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKA total of 16 people died in accidents on Namibian roads this past Easter weekend, compared to four fatalities that...

Footballer among weekend crash casualties

3 weeks ago - 23 March 2021 | Accidents

NAMPA ONGWEDIVAFive people died on Saturday night when their car crashed into a...

Anguish as footballers die in Henties crash

1 month - 01 March 2021 | Accidents

IRÉNE-MARI VAN DER WALT AND FRANCOISE STEYNBERG SWAKOPMUND, WINDHOEKYoung soccer players from Henties...

MVA calls for road safety compliance by all road...

1 month - 19 February 2021 | Accidents

STAFF REPORTER The start of the 2021 school year warrants reinforcement of basic road safety education by road safety partners, parents/guardians and schools to support...

Pilot was unfit to fly, probe finds

3 months ago - 12 January 2021 | Accidents

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The 40-year-old pilot who crashed a gyrocopter on 17 December 2020 just outside of Windhoek did not have a valid...

Man shot after being mistaken for jackal

3 months ago - 11 January 2021 | Accidents

NAMPARUNDUThe police in the Kavango East Region are investigating a case of attempted murder after a 43-year-old man allegedly shot a 22-year-old man at a...

Passenger assistance unit blamed for airport injuries

3 months ago - 04 January 2021 | Accidents

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKPoor maintenance of equipment, overloading and untrained staff have been highlighted as the contributing factors to a scissor-lift passenger assistance...

Man dies in New Year’s Day accident

3 months ago - 04 January 2021 | Accidents

NAMPA RUNDUA 22-year-old man died in the early hours of Friday when he...

‘They just took photos’

3 months ago - 21 December 2020 | Accidents

FRANCOISE STEYNBERG AND ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK“I am not a hero, because nobody survived the accident,” says Johannes Kambonde, who pulled pilot Pierre Blaauw (40) from a...

Latest News

Somehow intertwined, definitely unveiled

13 hours ago | Others

Natasha Beyeveld Sounds a bit like true love fading away due to dis(ease) versus an abusive relationship crashing into pieces. Sometimes we have a...

Consumers to make peace with...

13 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUAnnual meat inflation increased significantly to 13.3% in March this year compared to a rate of 3.3% recorded in March last year, an increase...

Trans-Zambezi railway extension studied

13 hours ago | Economics

Government has commenced with a feasibility study to help determine the viability of developing and extending the Trans-Zambezi railway to link Namibia with other member...

‘I won’t humiliate ministers’

13 hours ago | Government

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKPresident Hage Geingob yesterday said he will not humiliate ministers accused of corruption by firing them, as questions mount against his administration’s preference to...

DJ Omzala falls on hard...

13 hours ago | People

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATI Former radio personality DJ Omzala, who graced the NBC airwaves in the 1990s, is a broken man.Off the airwaves, divorced and having had...

High-level panel members land plum...

13 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKSeveral of the individuals who served on the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy (HLPNE) have been landed cushy government jobs since playing advisor...

Confidently learning and rising

13 hours ago | People

Wetumwene Shikage Elise Abraham started assisting her aunt at a catering company known as “Kitchen LaPeney”. Now she runs her own business.Abraham attended primary...

Muteka sees herself advancing to...

13 hours ago | People

Michelline NawatisesHendrina Muteka is a self-motivated and result-oriented young woman. She grew up in Tsumeb and moved to Windhoek in 2011 to pursue her studies...

A force to be reckoned...

13 hours ago | People

Monique Adams Esther Shikalepo is an administrative assistant in the benefits processing division at the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF). This division is the engine...

Load More