Nico Heyns was one of our most experienced firefighting pilots with more than fifteen years’ experience in aerial firefighting. He recently returned from leave and was fully competent and fit to fly the Huey Helicopter in terms of CAA regulations.
We will forever remember his heroic efforts during the Knysna Fires of June 2017 and at Cape St. Francis in January 2016. Together with the family of Nico and the broader firefighting fraternity we pay homage and respect to a true gentleman who remained forever committed to saving lives and protecting our environment.
Kishugu Aviation management has met with the family of Nico and they have extended our condolences to them and we will be providing ongoing counseling support to the bereaved.
Kishugu Aviation and Working on Fire will be joining the family in a special Memorial Service for Nico this coming Sunday. More details will be announced in due course.
The South African Civil Aviation Authority accident investigators have concluded their site visit of the Huey helicopter accident at Vermaaklikheid in the Southern Cape and the wreckage has now been removed to a safekeeping venue under the direction of the CAA.
The Accident and Incident Investigation division in the CAA is by law the authority that is entrusted to do a full and proper investigation to determine the probable cause of this accident and we ask for people to be patient as they go about their investigations.
We have confidence that the CAA will conduct a thorough investigation.
There is no basis for any speculation at this stage on what the possible causes could be and we discourage anyone from doing so. Anyone who has information relating to this accident should avail such evidence to the accident investigators.