Emergency procedures not followed in Wonderboom plane accident: CAA

The twin-engine aircraft took off with two crew and 17 passengers for a scenic flight from Wonderboom aerodrome to Pilanesburg aerodrome in Rustenburg last month.
The twin-engine aircraft took off with two crew and 17 passengers for a scenic flight from Wonderboom aerodrome to Pilanesburg aerodrome in Rustenburg last month.
Image: Supplied

Emergency procedures were not followed after the crew of a vintage aircraft which crashed on July 10 near Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria were made aware that one of the engines had caught fire.

This is one of the preliminary findings made by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in its investigation into the crash of the aircraft‚ a Convair 340/440.

The twin-engine aircraft took off with two crew and 17 passengers for a scenic flight from Wonderboom aerodrome to Pilanesburg aerodrome in Rustenburg when the accident occurred.

Both aircraft pilots and two passengers were seriously injured and one passenger was killed. Four other people on the ground sustained serious injuries and another four suffered minor injuries.

“The aircraft continued with the left engine on fire throughout the flight and during the accident sequence‚” the preliminary report read.

The report said there were a number of detailed procedures to be followed by pilots after identifying the engine that was on fire.

“Based on the wreckage examination including the propeller and cockpit GOPRO recording‚ the … procedures were not followed by the crew when the left engine caught fire‚” the report said.

The report also said the aircraft required two pilots to operate it and both needed to be rated for the aircraft.

However‚ the CAA said the documents and the licences made available to the investigation team indicated only the captain was rated on the aircraft.

The CAA said the captain had a valid Australian Air Transport‚ Commercial and Private Licence and he was type-rated on the aircraft.

“However‚ the validation issued by the (South African Civil Aviation Authority) was for Private Pilot Licence under visual flight rules which was valid until May 5 2021‚” the report said.

It said the first officer had a valid Australian Air Transport‚ Commercial and Private Licence‚ however‚ he was not type-rated on the aircraft.

It said the first officer’s validation of his foreign licence was only limited to single-engine landing aircraft.

The report said the Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME) had been issued with the aircraft maintenance licence with the appropriate rating endorsed and was valid at the time of the accident.

“The aircraft is certified for two crew operation‚ however the engine controls were also operated by LAME who is not part of the crew according to the aircraft flight manual and he is not rated on the aircraft as a pilot.”

The report also said the Pilanesberg aerodrome was closed for fixed-winged aircraft as indicated in the Notice to Airmen that the runway was under construction.

The report said at the time of take-off‚ neither the crew nor the Wonderboom Airport air traffic controller were aware of the notice.

Cellphone footage has emerged from inside the vintage plane that crashed near Wonderboom Airport, killing two on July 10 2018.

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