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SAAF Dakota crashes – time to look at reality


    2 thoughts on “SAAF Dakota crashes – time to look at reality”

    1. Pieter van Zyl says:

      Just a note on a few mistakes in this piece. The design of the C-47 maybe 75 years old and about 70% of the current airframes may also be that old but the C-47 TP’s of the SAAF is about 12 years old as these planes where completely rebuilt, and I mean completely rebuilt, everything and those planes are new. I will put the C-47 TP as plane against anything in its class today and it will come out on top.
      Also the engines are Pratt & Whitney but they are PT6 – 65 AR’s, rated at 1220 shp. The PT6 engines can be found in most of the commercial turbo prop planes today and is arguably the best in the business.
      The conversion of these Dakota’s was also not done on the cheap, there was a private company created that ran test flights for years to make sure everything is working as it should.
      Also 11 000ft for the TP is nothing, we flew the piston engined Dakotas constantly between 10 and 15 000 feet. The tests on the TP’s were done well over 20 000ft so there is no problem there, from 16 000 ft the pilots just needs oxygen.
      Lastly, your comments on the pilot’s ability is completely unnecessary as you are clearly speculating, the pilot was a senior officer with an immaculate record, why not just honour their memory.

    2. admin says:

      Dear Pieter

      Thank you for your input and setting the record straight. I was a serviceman in the 70’s and indeed we had a military that anyone would have been proud of. At the time of writing I wasn’t pointing a finger at any specific pilot or competence level – I do understand that pilots are regularly put under extreme stress and any aviation disaster is one too may, worse so in peace time.

      You are correct – I was speculating – at the time of writing no one was aware of what had happened neither of the pilot’s experience. I was saddened by this news and yes maybe the article came across as insensitive and for that I apologise to all readers.

      The South African Airforce has a long proud history, one which most youngsters of today would not be aware of but should. I’d really like to see our Defence Force start promoting their role in our country like many years back. not just through a website but through the private sector and schooling. Create a positive perception and not make themselves the target of negative media reporting, more so with the army.

      Fly safely Pieter!
      “We will remember them.”

      For national and overseas visitors please visit:

      http://www.saairforce.co.za/ (Private D Wingrin, exceptional work)
      http://www.af.mil.za/ (Dept. of Defence).

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