Erika Gibson, Beeld
Pretoria - He had spent four-and-a-half years in Iraq without getting hurt, but two months after his return, he died in a plane crash in Uganda.
Duncan Rykaart, a former Special Forces operator and colonel, was one of 11 people aboard a Ilyushin 76 cargo plane that crashed into Lake Victoria on Monday.
He had been working for Bancroft Global Development, an American company specialising in research on explosive devices and landmines, since January. The company advises the African Union's peacekeeping troops in Somalia.
"Duncan wanted to do something completely different and so he started working for us from January," said Rocky van Blerk, programme director at Bancroft on Tuesday.
He and Rykaart had known each other since 1979, when both where operators at the 5 Reconnaissance regiment in Phalaborwa.
"I spoke to him the night before the accident. Shortly after five o'clock the next morning, I got a call that the plane had crashed."
Rykaart was married with two children. His widow, Amanda, said on Tuesday that the search for the remains of the victims was continuing, but the wreck lay under 26m of water and oil.
It is very sad to hear that a man with a distinguished military career was on board, it does make you wonder if a man like that would have chosen to fly on an aircraft with such a pedigree when he was in Iraq? I also doubt whether there were proper seats available for 7 pax? I also hear that the aircraft had experienced some "technical problems" before this flight departed.....
I know nothing about this accident but I would suggest that the ‘famous’ YouTube video of a late unstuck quoted on post 18 this thread is not what it seems.
Aeroplanes need two things to unstick – speed and angle of attack. At unstuck the aircraft on YouTube certainly had speed but it had a negligible nose up attitude showing a low angle of attack. In short this is what you see when a wind up merchant leaves his aircraft on the ground until just before the end of the runway and then (thanks to the excess speed) is able to unstuck and fly away without the normal post rotation high nose up attitude.
Works every time with a lot of onlookers - especially with a large aircraft that always seem to be crawling along after takeoff when compared to its smaller brethren.
Or explosive device placed on board by fundementalist extremists who do not like what the AU's AMSOM (Mission in Somalia) are doing in Mogadishu to establish an orderly administration and trying to keep peace and a semblence of order.
Rebels shot down two IL-76's with RPG-7's in Mogadishu last year, one on landing and one on departure.
Its not a secret that the same rebels have been threatening for the past 3 or 4 months to shoot down this aircraft bringing in supplies, also, and have been attempting unsuccessfully to hit it while on the ground with mortar fire at MGQ airport.
Next best if not possible to get at it in MGQ, try at EBB where the same fanatics enjoy substantial support from a like-minded community and sympathisers.
Suggest responsibly hold your horses till more info/facts are known.
Dont think Four Wings is far wrong. At 14.5 tons cargo payload, and 0300Z, that plane could have gone out there with 2 engines!