Accident Aero Commander S-2R ZS-OZM, 30 Aug 2008
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 22618
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SS2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Aero Commander S-2R
Owner/operator:Orsmond Aerial Spray (Pty) Ltd
Registration: ZS-OZM
MSN: 1553R
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near Kataza Airstrip, west of Melmoth, KZN -   South Africa
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Kataza Airstrip
Destination airport:Kataza Airstrip
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Aircraft got into difficulties shortly after take-off from Kataza Airstrip and crashed into trees, killing the pilot, who was from New Zealand and working under contract. Kataza is a heavily forested area approximately 150km north east of Durban and 60 km north-west of Empangeni.

Sketchy reports from the area suggest the aircraft went down from about 1,000 ft agl and that the pilot may have suffered heart failure, rather than a problem with the aircraft, such as engine failure.


1. One killed in KZN plane crash
2. Fires rip through northern KZN
3. News 24: 10 dead in KZN fires
4. ]News Today: Ten die in KZN fires
5. Kiwi 'icon' dies fighting South African fires
6. An "icon" of agricultural aviation in New Zealand, Donald Walter Ussher, 68, has been killed while fighting a forest fire in South Africa
7. KZN fire death toll rising

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Google Earth view of Babanango and the air-strip south-east of the town

Pietermaritzburg, September 18, 2006

Revision history:

30-Aug-2008 16:14 Topaz Added
30-Aug-2008 23:54 Topaz Updated
31-Aug-2008 01:07 Topaz Updated
31-Aug-2008 23:45 Topaz Updated
01-Sep-2008 09:08 Topaz Updated
01-Sep-2008 11:42 Topaz Updated
01-Sep-2008 14:14 Topaz Updated

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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