Wednesday, March 6, 2013

► NAMIBIA: Former BBC filmmaker, Namibian pilot die in Sesfontein crash.

NamibiaThe wreckage of a Jabiru J400 light aircraft (MSN ? | ZU-EWR) carrying Namibian pilot Mike Berry and Emmy award winning South African filmmaker and photographer, Richard Mathews, was found yesterday morning in the rugged and highly mountainous area north of Purros near Sesfontein in Namibia's north-western Kunene Region. There were no survivors according to Namibian Police.

Sesfontein, Namibia
Sesfontein, Namibia (GoogleMaps)
Gideon Hambo, assistant manager at Fort Sesfontein, said the pair had taken off from Fort Sesfontein Lodge on Sunday morning at around 06h30L as per usual. When they failed to return at 19h00L, a search and rescue party was sent out. On Tuesday morning, a local resident of Purros spotted smoke in the area and went to investigate, following which the wreckage of the aircraft was found.

The Director of the Aircraft Accident Investigations in the Namibian Ministry of Works and Transport, Ericksson Nengola, said the wreck of the airplane was found in the Sesfontein area, and both occupants are believed to have died in the crash.
"It crashed and both people on board died. We have started with the official investigation into the cause of the crash, after the wreck was found," Nengola said.
Source [The Namibian]

No immediate cause of the accident has been identified.

It is believed that Berry and Mathews had gone to the Sesfontein area to photograph dry riverbeds. Richard Mathews was an internationally renowned wildlife filmmaker and had worked for the BBC's National History Unit for six years. In 2004 he moved to Cape Town to specialize in aerial photography.