South African National Parks (SANParks) on Saturday confirmed that one of its fixed wing aircraft went down in the Kingfisherspruit section of the Kruger National Park (KNP) on 9 February while in pursuit of suspected poachers. The aircraft, a Foxbat, A22LS was on an anti-poaching mission when the accident happened. It appears the engine failed.
No fatalities have been reported. The pilot has been assessed by the Skukuza resident doctor and was flown to Nelspruit Medi Clinic for a thorough check up after sustaining a gash to his head and minor lacerations.
Reacting to the news, the Managing Executive of the KNP, Glenn Phillips expressed his relief that there were no fatalities “we are grateful that the pilot seems fine at this stage and we will give him all the support to get through this traumatic experience. Our prayers are with him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery”.
Investigations are currently underway in order to determine the cause of the incident.
Rangers arrested two the two suspected poachers that were being chased by the Foxbat, which was delivered to the Kruger National Park in October 2018.