A former SA Air Force C-47 Turbo Dakota has crashed in the Mojave Desert in the United States, injuring its two pilots.
The Aviation Herald reports the aircraft, built in 1947, was performing a training flight at the US National Test Pilot School when the accident happened.
Aviation-safety.net adds the aircraft, registration N834TP, lifted off at the Mojave-Kern County Airport on Wednesday morning but then “dropped back down to the ground and veered off the runway.
The Associated Press quotes Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor as saying the aircraft also tipped over.
All reports indicate damage was extensive. “The integrity of a fuel tank was compromised since 600 gallons of fuel leaked from the plane after the accident,” Aviation-savety.net adds. The C47TP involved was a turbine conversion and highly modified with a belly radar pod and chin FLIR turret. It was formerly operated by the South African Air Force as a maritime patrol aircraft.
The pilots were released from a hospital after being treated for minor injuries.
The SAAF still operates several aircraft of this type.