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Accident description
Last updated: 12 December 2017
Status:Preliminary
Date:Monday 7 December 2015
Time: 10:55
Type:Silhouette image of generic EA50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eclipse 500
Operator:Dixco Transport (Pty) Ltd
Registration: ZS-DKS
C/n / msn: 000142
First flight: 2008
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F-A
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:S of Swellendam, Western Cape (   South Africa)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Lanseria Airport (HLA/FALA), South Africa
Destination airport:Cape Town International Airport (CPT/FACT), South Africa
Narrative:
The aircraft was en route from Lanseria Airport to Cape Town International. As it approached at 36,000 feet, It appeared to have been vectored along an airway towards the Caledon VOR (VHF omnidirectional range, a radio navigation aid). In the vicinity of Greyton in the Western Cape, radio contact with the aircraft was lost. The aircraft then proceeded to make a right hand turn followed by a further three right hand turns while traveling in an easterly direction and at the same time losing height. During the course of these events, Air Traffic and Navigation Services tried in vain on all frequencies to make contact with the aircraft. A Gripen jet from the Test Flight and Development Centre based at Air Force Base Overberg near Bredasdorp was tasked to intercept the aircraft. The Gripen was scrambled and came alongside the Eclipse within 15 minutes. Despite further attempts to make contact with the aircraft, it continued to lose height at a rate of 3,700 fpm and It crashed in an open field south of Swellendam. Hypoxia or pilot incapacitation have been cited as possible reasons for the erratic flight path and lack of response.

Note: When viewing the flight track below, please take into account that the minimum play-back speed available on FR24 is 12 times the actual speed. This has the effect of straight lines being drawn between way-points resulting in sharp angles during changes in direction. In reality these would have been a lot more gradual.

Sources:
» Pilot of light aircraft dies in Swellendam crash
» EMR Private Ambulance Facebook Page photos
» Kobus Dicks killed in aeroplane tragedy
» Plane crash near N2 between Caledon and Swellendam in Western Cape
» CAA investigate deadly Swellendam plane crash
» Experienced pilot killed as plane crashes near Caledon


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Lanseria Airport to Cape Town International Airport as the crow flies is 1261 km (788 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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