South African calibration aircraft crashes killing all on board


(Posted 23rd January 2020)

(File picture of the stricken aircraft and part of the wreckage discovered by a search and recovery mission)

A Cessna S550 Citation jet, owned and operated by the South African Civil Aviation Authority, crashed earlier today, around 10.50 hrs local time, killing all three crew members, two male and one female, on board.
The aircraft, registered as ZS-CAR and with MSN S550-007, had taken off from the airport in the town of George, crashing in the Outeniqua mountains, Ruiterbos area between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, while carrying out an official mission.
An immediate search and rescue mission was launched after air traffic control lost contact within minutes of the flight leaving but turned into a recovery mission, when later on the wreckage of the aircraft was spotted.
The aircraft last year had some technical issues, when smoke in the cockpit forced a take off to be abandoned, but the plane was later returned to service after maintenance had been carried out.
The aircraft and crew were well known across Southern Africa as it had in the past performed calibration flights for other civil aviation authorities in the region and the loss of the crew has sent shockwaves through the entire region’s aviation fraternity.
Condolences and deepest sympathy are expressed to the families, friends and colleagues of those lost in this tragic accident.

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