Condolences for retired pilots killed in light aircraft crash


The South African Military Ombud Lieutenant General (Retired) Vusumuzi Masondo on Thursday sent his condolences to the families of two Reserve Force pilots who lost their lives whilst attempting to land a Patchen Explorer light aircraft at Air Force Base Swartkop in Centurion, Tshwane.

The accident occurred during the scheduled General Flying Day on Wednesday at the South African Air Force Museum.

Masondo said he was saddened by the untimely death of the two Reserve Force pilots whilst on duty.

“On behalf of my Office, I would like to convey my deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of retired South African Air Force pilot, Major General Des Barker and former Indian Air Force (AIF) fighter pilot Rama Iyer, as well as friends and colleagues who crossed pathways with them. May their souls rest in eternal peace.

“These are former soldiers who chose to serve the nation as members of the Reserve Force as and when called upon by the SANDF.

“As we mourn these fallen pilots it is important that we remember the role that they played throughout their careers in the South African and Indian Air Forces, respectively,” Masondo said.

General Masondo’s Office was established in 2012 to investigate and ensure that complaints against the SANDF are resolved in a fair, economical and expeditious manner.

The mandate of the Office is to investigate complaints lodged in writing against the SANDF from current and former members of the SANDF, regarding their conditions of service, as well as members of the public regarding the official conduct of members of the SANDF.

Masondo said his Office is open to assist those who would like to lodge complaints.

A complaints form is also available on the website of the Military Ombud.