Airborne law enforcement officer with 29 years’ service among five who died in plane crash
The aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from the Rand Airport just after 2:30pm on Tuesday.
The management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) has conveyed its condolences to the families, colleagues and loved ones of the SAPS member and to those who lost their lives following Tuesday’s light aircraft crash at the Rand Airport in Germiston.
On board, the Pilatus Porter PC 6 were six people: two of them Saps members and technicians from a company contracted to service and maintain Saps helicopters.
According to a preliminary report, the aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from the Rand Airport just after 2:30 pm on Tuesday, 30 August 2022.
Warrant Officer Willem Erasmus, a SAPS airborne law enforcement officer with 29 years’ service, was among the five people that sadly succumbed to their injuries on the scene.
“As an airborne law enforcement officer (ALEO) the member was responsible for providing air support during crime prevention as well as Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. The sole survivor of the crash, a senior pilot with 16 years of service, Captain Casper Swanepoel sustained serious injuries and is currently receiving medical care in hospital,” said the SAPS in a statement.
Today, the management of the SAPS met with the families of the two SAPS members and the representatives of the company that employed the four deceased technicians.
The acting National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, has, on behalf of the SAPS, sent her condolences to all affected families and wished the pilot a speedy recovery.
“This tragedy happens on the eve of the SAPS annual National Commemoration Day as we prepare to honour 33 police officers and reservists who died in the line of duty in the 2021/2022 financial year. Let’s allow investigations to unfold to be able to get to the bottom of what led to this tragedy. Our sincerest condolences to the affected families, and we are wishing the pilot a speedy recovery,” said Mosikili.
The SAPS has established a Board of Inquiry to investigate the cause of the accident. An inquest docket has also been registered to determine the cause of death of the five deceased.