South Africa: SANDF Impounds Civilian Aircraft

press release

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) last night impounded a civilian light aircraft that violated the airspace at the Air Base Waterkloof.

Three occupants of the Cessna 172 aircraft, including the pilot, were apprehended by members of the SA Air Force and the Military Police to allow for standard procedure of investigation.

From the initial investigation, the following has been established and will be subject for further enquiry:

The aircraft was piloted by an Austrian National, who indicated that he was a student pilot doing night flight training between Grand Central Airport to Lanseria Airport.

According to the pilot, he made 4 circuits overhead Grand Central on his return leg during which time he became disoriented and lost his route due to dizziness. He also indicated that he realised that his transponder was unserviceable when Lanseria Tower sent him radio communication that he could not be traced on the radar.

The pilot and the passengers were detained at the Lyttleton Police Station for further questioning and safe keeping.

The SANDF has established that the aircraft is South African registered and belonged to the Grand Central Flight Training Services.

The investigations by the various law enforcement agencies are continuing.

Issued by: Department of Defence

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