UPDATE: Plane crash claims three lives at HKIA

29 Jan 2016 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 29 JAN (NAMPA) – An aeroplane carrying three passengers crashed and burned near the Opembamewa Farm, situated close to the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), on Friday.
Namibia Airports Company (NAC) Head of Corporate Communications, Mia Davids confirmed the plane crash during a media briefing at the HKIA the same day.
She said the accident happened at 10h11.
“Unfortunately all three passengers that were on board perished and have not yet been identified,” said Davids.
She said the plane was a Cesna A24 with registration number of V5MJW belonging to the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies (O&L).
O&L is the largest private group of companies in Namibia with its headquarters in Windhoek from where it manages franchises and Namibian owned entities.
A statement on the company’s website confirmed the incident, saying three pilots were conducting training on board an Eros Air and O&L subsidiary aeroplane. O&L Group Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme expressed his shock saying: 'This is really a very sad day in the history of the O&L Group and certainly a tremendous loss for Namibia at large not to mention the impact this tragedy will have on the lives of the deceased’s loved ones”.
Only one of the deceased persons have been identified by O&L - Uwe Herbert, chief corporate pilot of Eros Air, who served the O&L Group for 31 years.
The plane took off at Eros Airport en route to the HKIA, and the crash is the first fatal crash recorded in Namibia after 48 years.
In April 1968, a Boeing 707 crashed around the same vicinity killing most of the passengers on board, according to Norman Pule, a manager of operations at the HKIA.
At a media briefing on Friday afternoon, the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Forensic Unit were still at the scene, where Acting Director from the Directorate of Aircraft Accident Investigations (DAAI), Magnus Abraham said the mission of the flight is still unknown.
“We will get to replay the radar as the aircraft got airborne from the Eros Airport to where it went down with levels and times to establish what really went wrong,” said Abraham.
Investigations into the accident are expected to go on for about 30 days.