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Rego would not want us to stop flying, says friend

Veteran Port Elizabeth pilot Rego Burger, 56, who died after his light aircraft crashed into the slopes of the Baakens Valley, would not want his fellow aviation enthusiasts to be scared of flying, his friend Brett Williams told mourners at his memorial service yesterday.
Burger’s family, friends and colleagues filled the Lighthouse Family Church in Newton Park to say their goodbyes following his untimely death on Monday last week.Williams urged mourners not to allow Burger’s death to have been in vain.
“I think that with serious aircraft accidents, there are two things that we need to ask,” he said.
“Firstly, can we prevent accidents like that from occurring again in future?
“The second is the ultimate question in life, [to which] Rego [had] already discovered the answer . . . is there a God?
“I personally think there is, and so did Rego,” he said.
“Let’s not allow his to death be in vain.
“Yes, I’m going to miss my friend, but I know he would not want us to stop flying and I don’t want to stop either.
“I know there are risks, so I’ll do everything in my power to minimise them,” he said.
Burger ’s fiancée, Johanna Smit, fought back tears while reading out messages of condolence the family had received.Smit, 54, said the family had received messages from as far as the United States, India and Australia.
She shared some of her memories of the man she had been with for 15 years.
“He sometimes irritated me,” Smit said with a faint smile.
“Because when you’re working and concentrating you don’t want to be disturbed.
“He knew that because afterwards he would tell me: ‘You didn’t hear anything I’ve just said, did you?’”
Burger’s son, Glen, said: “I can remember about a week or two ago [before his death], my father had issues with getting his licence renewed, and, me being up in Joburg, I offered to assist.
“For me it was pretty easy, so I’m thankful that I was able to help him get it done.”
Burger's ashes were scattered in the church’s memorial garden after the service.

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