Two people were killed when a microlight aeroplane caught fire and crashed at Chigumira Farm in Mazowe District, Mashonaland Central Province, on Thursday afternoon
In a statement, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said the aircraft departed Komani Airfield and was scheduled to land back at the same airfield after a training sort/flight. Minister Mhona said:
Antony Mitchell previously owned aircraft Z-BEE which he had sold to Allister Stobart. Allister Stobart was in the Republic of South Africa at the time of the accident. Allister Stobart requested the previous owner, Antony Mitchell to conduct a type conversion training on Garry Bissette.
Garry Bissette was an instructor on Zimbabwe Microlight Association Non-Type certificated aircraft and several other Non-Type Certificated aircraft. He held a Zimbabwe recreational aircraft pilot licence and his total flying time was estimated to over 1500hrs. Further, some aviation qualifications he held included a full radio licence issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. He was not a holder of any flying licence or rating issued/ granted by any Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority.
The minister said on the day of the accident, Garry Bissette was receiving type conversion training on Z-BEE, a Sting S14 aircraft, while Antony Mitchell was the training pilot/ instructor.
He added that the aircraft engine caught fire while the aircraft was flying over Esbank Farm in Mazowe. The fire swept across the aircraft cabin and other sections of the aircraft. He added:
The accident occurred 4 November 2021, around 1720hrs Zimbabwe time. Both occupants of the aircraft were killed and the aircraft completely destroyed in the accident.
Plexiglass with ballistic chute circle was found off to the left of the flight path and about 100m before the first point of aircraft first impact with the ground. While the chute, meant to carry the aircraft when deployed in an emergency, was found 50m from the first point of impact, with its suspension tethers burnt through by the fire.d.
He added that the Air Accidents and Incidents Investigation Department, under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development was still conducting investigations.
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