Plane goes down near Plett with 9 aboard

By Janine Oelofse, Gareth Wilson, and Aziz Hartley


A search was under way late last night following reports that an aircraft had gone down near Plettenberg Bay.
It was confirmed last night by the board of directors of Italtile Ltd that it was the group‘s company aeroplane, which was travelling between Queenstown and Plettenberg Bay. Nine were on board, two crew and seven passengers.
Peter Swatton, the Italtile‘s chief financial officer Peter Swatton said he plane disappeared from radar at 4.31pm yesterday this after it had apparently aborted a landing at Plettenberg Bay airport.
“There was no distress call, and nothing has been heard from the plane since,” Peter Swatton said.
NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the search for the plane, a Pilatus PC12 single engine light aircraft was concentrating on the Robberg Nature Reserve but rescuers were hampered by dense vegetation and thick fog.
Lambinon said said the plane had been seen earlier in the day near Wilderness and Knysna but “ it was flying at a very low altitude”.
Civil Aviation Authority communications director Kabelo Ledwaba said he had received a message from a senior investigator to say a plan had gone missing but no other information was immediately available.
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