Sundays are meant to be happy days. That was however not the case for Botswana. Not after waking up to news of a terrifying plane crash that had taken place on Saturday evening. The plane is feared to have hit a clubhouse before crashing. Efforts to establish the cause of the crash have since then been underway, and so far, these are the findings related to the accident.
There are so many missing parts in the puzzle relating to the Botswana plane crash. Investigators are collecting all the necessary information that could be linked to the accident in a bid to try to evaluate the cause and circumstances of the crash. So far, the investigators have established that the whole incident was the pilot’s intention. It has been made clear that the pilot was not in his right state of mind and could have experienced a mental breakdown that saw him resort to committing suicide. There are also some allegations that he made this attempt to kill his wife with which he had a fight before the incident.
What caused the Botswana plane crash?
According to the reports that have been brought forth by the media and the witnesses of the crash, it has been established that the pilot deliberately smashed the plane into the clubhouse. According to the comprehensive report that the clubhouse, Matsieng Flying Club, issued, the pilot was not invited into the clubhouse which hosted a private function. It is also alleged that the deceased had earlier on gotten into a domestic feud with his wife before the terrible incident occurred. It is claimed that before cannoning into the building, the pilot made several low trips around the clubhouse. It is the low trips that made the attendees in the clubhouse raise alarm. They ended up being evacuated, a move that minimised the number of causalities. The pilot was the only casualty in the incident.
The flow of events before the crash
Before detectives concluded that the plane crash was a suicide attempt, many unknown parts of the incident were then a puzzle. However, as of today, they had managed to collect data that might help solve the mystery. This is the flow of events before the crash that been established so far.
The pilot’s identity
The name of the deceased pilot is Charles Viljoen. Charles, at the time of his death, was an employee at Kalahari Air Services. Charles is South African, from the Northern Cape region. It has been established that Charles and his wife had relocated to Botswana ten years ago, where he worked as a pilot.
According to Chris Briers, a worker at Matsieng Botswana, Charles had attended the party at the Matsieng Flying Club without being invited. While at the party, Charles got drunk and got into an intense argument with his wife. The confrontation resulted in him being evacuated from the party, a reason that could have led him to resort to committing suicide. Upon leaving, Charles went to Gaborone, where he stole an aircraft, KingAir 200, which he flew into the clubhouse. Charles intended to kill everyone who was at the party and himself too.
It is also claimed that Charles left the party by car. He later on called one of his friends who was at the party asking for his wife’s whereabouts. While on the call, his friend noticed some noise in the background, which alluded that Charles was on the plane. Another friend of the deceased sensed danger and alerted the rest of the members who were at the party to leave the clubhouse. That was before Charles crashed the plane at the clubhouse.
What happened before the crash?
It was a typical business day for Matsieng Flying Club in Matsieng Aerodrome as the clubhouse had hosted fifty guests for a private party. This was before the whole ordeal happened. The spokesperson of the clubhouse; Mark Mansfield, had this to say relating to the latter; "Earlier in the afternoon, the deceased pilot was an uninvited guest at a private function that was held at the Matsieng Flying Club facility at Matsieng Aerodrome. It is rumoured that the pilot was involved in a domestic dispute earlier in the afternoon.”
The actual crash
Mark Mansfield then went ahead to say, “At about 6.15pm. The aircraft approached Matsieng Aerodrome from the direction of Sir Seretse Khama Airport and made a number of low-level fly-pasts from different directions past the club facilities next to the Air Traffic Control tower. Matsieng Flying Club members sensed that the pilot might have had an ulterior motive at the time and ordered an immediate evacuation of the club premises by the approximately 50 attendees. The final extreme low-level run by the aircraft along runway 36 resulted in an impact with the Matsieng Flying Club facility at ground level. The Club facility and Matsieng ATC tower were destroyed on impact. The post-impact fire destroyed 13 parked vehicles.”
Mansfield then concluded by saying that there were no casualties, apart from Charles, who was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Deborah Retief Memorial Hospital. He, however, stated that the clubhouse building had been wrecked down and thirteen cars burnt down. Mansfield also commended the Kgatleng District Council emergency services unit who reported to the scene of the incident early enough to control the fire that had resulted from the post-impact and distress. He also affirmed that the deceased was not permitted to fly the plane that had been involved in the accident. Videos of the plane crash have since then been going viral on social media.
Investigations are still underway and more facts relating to the plane crash are being unravelled. It, however, is so unfortunate that this whole incident had to happen. What is more saddening is the fact that Charles chose to end his life this way. There are better ways of handling anger other than resorting to committing suicide through a plane crash.