Dead pilot 'was experienced'

PIETER Kriel, 59, who died in a plane crash near Hartbeespoort, was an experienced flight instructor who ran his own flight school, his family said yesterday.

PIETER Kriel, 59, who died in a plane crash near Hartbeespoort, was an experienced flight instructor who ran his own flight school, his family said yesterday.

Speaking on behalf of the Kriel family, Peter Radmanovich said the deceased was a grade two flight instructor who had flown for more than 10 years. Forty-three-year-old Arno Lowes also died in the crash.

Radmanovich sought to set straight reports that Kriel was a student flying with an instructor.

"On Sunday afternoon we flew over the Vaal together ... we landed and that was the last time I saw him," he said.

Radmanovich said Kriel's family was "battling" to deal with the death of their father.

He said there would be a Civilian Aviation Authority investigation. A police helicopter found the wreckage of the plane at 10.15am on Wednesday. The plane had left Krugersdorp and was on its way to Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria when it crashed. - Sapa

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