Last Updated
Friday 29 May 2015, 18:00 pm.
Two BDF planes collide, killing one pilot

Two Botswana Defence Force trainer planes, collided and crashed yesterday in Letlhakeng killing one pilot, while three escaped with minor injuries during a training exercise.
By Staff Writer Sat 30 May 2015, 12:10 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Two BDF planes collide, killing one pilot








The four experienced BDF pilots were on a refresher training course when the Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer planes, commonly known as PC-7, they were piloting collided mid-air over the village and crashed over Letlhakeng Primary School, whilst another landed in a three bed-roomed house owned by a Letlhakeng resident, nearly killing a woman and a one and half year old child. Those who witnessed the incident say at first the planes performed a colourful stunt, where they went on formation as they spun, only for their tails to collide and then there was a loud bang followed by the aircrafts spiralling downwards. The pilots then used parachutes to escape, but one of them was nearly gutted by fire from the burning aircraft. He later died at a Gaborone hospital. At Olefile Senyang's home, where one of the aircrafts crash-landed, a 31-year-old woman escaped through the window when the cockpit of the PC-7 landed in the kitchen. In an interview with Mmegi just after the incident, Senyang said that the woman, who is a nanny at his home "used the backdoor of the kitchen to escape. But I am told she has since been admitted for shock at a hospital.

We are also lucky that my grandchild whom she looks after, was away at a neighbour's place," he said. Senyang says he heard a loud bang followed by smoke and then received a phone call informing him that a plane has crashed into his house.

"I found the police and my neighbours and other villagers busy trying to douse the fire that was threatening to consume the house," he said. He said in the house beds, blankets, clothes and other home appliances like a television set, were burnt in the inferno.

Senyang said that he would like to get all his belongings and house back, adding that he expects the BDF to compensate him.

His neighbour, 60-year-old Setshego Ramoleko said he also heard the loud bang and went to Senyang's house, which was on fire. He said he helped douse the inferno and asked other neighbours and bystanders to come to the rescue and they went on to collect sand and water to put out the fire."But I did not see the pilots. I hear they escaped by parachute," he said.

Meanwhile students at Letlhakeng Primary School were immediately released from school after the other plane landed at the school burning down a Hilux van that was parked next to the classrooms. Letlhakeng acting station commander, Inspector Daniel Katse, confirmed the incident but said they were not aware that any pilot had died.

He said the 31-year-old maid was being observed at a hospital and will soon be released. He said they are expecting aviation experts to help them in investigating the double crash.



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