(Please note, this matter is not currently being litigated in Australia)Three Australians tourists and their German pilot are in a critical condition after their light plane crashed in Zimbabwe.
The Cessna four seater aircraft (Cessna TU206G Stationair, registration ZS-PFJ) reportedly suffered engine failure shortly after taking off from Victoria Falls international airport on Sunday 10 August 2014. The pilot of the aircraft is thought to have broadcast that he was turning the plane around in an attempt to land back at the airport. The pilot unfortunately failed to reach the airport and the plane crashed into a nearby paddock.
Witnesses in the area reported a low flying plane moving at slow speed pass them and then immediately turn around. Soon after, they heard a loud bang and saw the plane diving through trees as it crashed.
It is said that the tourists were travelling to Hwange National Park en route to Mana Pools.
All four passengers have been admitted to the Victoria Falls District Hospital in Zimbabwe. The identity of the passengers remains unknown.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the crash and provided assurances that embassy staff in Harare would provide consular assistance. Local police and officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe are also investigating the crash to determine its cause.
This is the second tragic crash in Africa since 2010 involving Australian passengers. In June 2010, the six member board of directors of Australian mining company Sundance Resources Limited were killed when their charter CASA C-212 Aviocar aircraft crashed in the Republic of Congo. Another five people on board were also killed, taking the total fatalities to eleven.
Shine Lawyers Aviation Department will continue to monitor international events in relation to this terrible tragedy and provide aviation legal commentary as needed or requested.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: August 27, 2014.