An Airquarius HS-748 plane departed Bloemfontein for a mail flight to George around 04:00. The crew allowed a passenger to board the flight. Hansie Cronje, a former South African cricket captain who had missed a South African Airlines flight. Weather was poor at George and the crew reportedly missed their first approach. The aircraft crashed in the rugged Outeniqua mountains at an altitude of about 1000 meters, near the Outeniqua Pass while manoeuvering for another approach.
PROBABLE CAUSES: "The crew deviated from the prescribed missed approach procedure during an attempted Instrument Landing System landing on Runway 29 at George in Instrument Meteorological Conditions and lost situational awareness aggravated by the presence of strong upper South-Westerly winds. They allowed the aircraft to drift off course resulting in a controlled impact with terrain 6.7 nm North-East of the aerodrome. A significantly contributing factor was the weather conditions that prevailed in the area during the aircraft’s approach to land and missed approach.
A further contributing factor to the accident was the intermittent unreliability of the Instrument Landing System of Runway 29 at the time the aircraft commenced its approach to land at George Aerodrome and how the pilots reacted to this situation. Another contributing factor was the directional gyro that was not serviceable and could have provided the pilots with faulty directional information.
It should also be considered that the uncleared defects could have contributed to the probable cause of the accident."
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