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Aviation Industry
Friday, June 1, 2007
Urban crowding

In the last few weeks several helicopters and light aircraft have crashed for a variety of reasons.

A Robinson R22 crashed in up-market Riverclub, Sandton (it must be up market because I live in the next door suburb) while piloted by a student pilot and instructor, presumably on a training flight. A Eurocopter AS350B2 belonging to Eskom crashed just after take-off, causing the death of a motorist who was waiting in traffic nearby. Another chopper crashed in Kwazulu-Natal.
What worries many people is that flights, and possibly training flights as well, are being conducted at low altitude over residential areas. There is very little open space and hardly any chance for the pilot, no matter how good he is, or thinks he is, to control his descent to avoid houses and people. In the Riverclub incident it was a miracle that the machine crashed into trees and not into an occupied house a couple of metres away.
So far there has been no report on the incidents and the reasons for the accidents but I trust the SACAA will take note of potentially dangerous flight operations.

Footnote: In the last article (see Insurance Times & InvestmentsVol 20.4 May 2007 page 4). I mentioned that BA was charging £6 for any more than a single suitcase. My friend Doug Henwood immediately pointed out that it wasn’t £6 quid but £60! A cool R900 per bag. Add this to the money they make by auctioning off lost luggage and it’s no wonder BA are making profits. By Henry Tours

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:20.5 1st June, 2007
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