JACO van Dyk, a well-known business and motor sports personality from Grootfontein, and his three children miraculously survived a helicopter crash near Windhoek earlier this morning.
Van Dyk, who had to be cut from the mangled wreckage of his MD60 helicopter, is in a critical condition after the aircraft he was piloting went down in the mountainous area to the immediate east of Windhoek this morning.
The head of the Directorate of Aircraft Accident Investigation, Magnus Abraham, confirmed the accident and said that the pilot sustained severe injuries during the crash, while his three children sustained various degrees of less life threatening injuries.
Abraham said the pilot informed air traffic controllers at Eros Airport that he was on final approach to the airport before he suddenly radioed in a Mayday call.
“A general alert was sent out about 11:00 this morning after air traffic controllers lost radio contact with the pilot, after he the Mayday call.
An urgent search and rescue mission, involving a helicopter from the Namibian Police’s Air Wing and a Namibian Defence Force helicopter that was already flying in the area where the civilian helicopter went down, was conducted,” Abraham said.
Emergency service from Windhoek was directed to the scene of the crash after the mangled wreckage of the MD 60 helicopter was spotted from the air.
Abraham said the pilot and his three passengers miraculously survived the crash.
“The pilot was critically injured and he, along with his three passengers, were airlifted to a Windhoek Hospital for emergency medical care,” he said.
Abrahams added that the cause of the accident is not yet known and he did not want to venture on any speculation about the possible cause.
“We will only be able to pinpoint the cause of the crash in about two days’ time. We will have a preliminary report ready the day after tomorrow,” he said.
Abraham said that the investigators were flown to the accident scene after the survivors of the accident were flown to the Eros Airport to be transported to a hospital for emergency medical care.