Windhoek — Two occupants of a four-seater Jabiru light aircraft died when the aircraft crashed in a rugged and highly mountainous area near Sesfontein in the Kunene Region.
The plane crashed on Sunday with two passengers on board, according to aviation authorities. The Director of Aircraft Accident Investigations in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Ericksson Nengola, said the wreck of the airplane was found in the Sesfontein area, and both occupants are believed to have died in the crash.
He further said the private light aircraft has a South African registration ZU-EWR, but was being operated by a Namibian national at the time of the crash.
"It crashed and both people on board died. We have started with the official investigation into the cause of the crash, after the wreck was found," Nengola said.
Two aircraft investigators will be dispatched to the crash scene this morning to take photos of the wreck and to start with the initial investigation, because the Department of Aircraft Investigations on Tuesday felt it was too risky to rush a team to the site deemed treacherous.
He added that an accredited representative has been appointed in South Africa to help with the investigation on the South African side, since the aircraft was registered in South Africa.
He explained that an accredited representative is an investigator who does not have to come to Namibia.
Nengola said he understood that the two people on board were on a research mission taking aerial photographs of the rugged mountainous area. According to Police Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi the light aircraft was reported missing on Sunday and police promptly mounted a search and rescue operation. The police had earlier intensified the search with a police helicopter that was dispatched from Windhoek yesterday morning.
The crash is the second in Namibia in recent months, after a Cessna 210M Centurion with five occupants crashed near Swakopmund on July 06 last year. There were no fatalities, but only slight injuries in that accident that was said to have been caused by fuel starvation due to a pilot error.