An investigation has been launched after two people died when a small aircraft crashed shortly after take-off in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
In a statement, the South African Civil Aviation Authority said investigators were dispatched to gather information that would assist in establishing the cause of the fatal crash.
South African Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said that initial reports indicated the aircraft, a light sports aircraft called Bushbaby, crashed moments after take-off, fatally injuring both occupants.
The aircraft had taken-off from Eva's Field, an airstrip in Hilton, and was headed for Umkomaas Airfield, situated down the south coast.
"The evidence collection phase, which has already begun, and will continue onsite, will define the size and scope of the investigation as well as the anticipated timeframe for the completion of a final accident investigation report," Ledwaba said.
"It is vital to point out that investigations can vary in complexity and may, at times, take a bit of time to complete."
"However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the investigating team will then immediately notify relevant parties so that appropriate action can be taken."
Ledwaba added that a preliminary report would be issued within 30 days and that in instances where an investigation took longer than 12 months to complete, the investigation team would issue an interim statement to indicate the progress made at that particular point in time.
"The completion of an investigation is marked by the release of a final accident report, which often contain safety recommendations aimed at improving the levels of aviation safety and the prevention of a similar accident."