What happened to the Rietbok?

On Monday, CapeTalk presenter, Pippa Hudson, received a phone call from Jerry in Rugby, who told us about the Rietbok.

After Jerry’s call, we got an outpouring of emails, SMSes and calls, from listeners, wanting to know more. As a result of that, we did our own little investigation on-air.

For those unfamiliar with the story of the Rietbok:

On the 13th of March 1967, the Vickers Viscount aircraft ZS-CVA, also known as "Rietbok", South African Airways Flight 406, was on a scheduled passenger flight from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg via East London and Bloemfontein, where it crashed into the ocean.

Its Estimated Time of Arrival at East London was 5.14pm, but the weather there was poor. The captain had indicated that he would probably overfly East London, but that he would have a look at conditions there before deciding to do so. The last communication from the aircraft was when it notified East London Airport Control that it was "at 2,000 ft. with the coastline in sight".

It is estimated that the aircraft was then between 20 and 15 nautical miles from the Airport when it then crashed into the sea at 5.10pm. On board were Captain Gordon Benjamin Lipawsky, First Officer Brian Albert Richard Trenwith, 3 cabin crew and 20 passengers. Air-sea rescue operations were put in hand promptly, but there were no survivors. Bits of floating wreckage, consisting mainly of cabin interior fittings, were recovered by naval vessels and other pieces were washed ashore. The main wreckage of the aircraft is believed to be lying at a depth of between 180 and 220 feet, approximately 1½ miles off-shore. Extensive salvage operations were attempted, but were hindered by murky water, a current up to 8 knots, and dangerous sea conditions

The air accident report speculated, without supporting evidence, that the pilot of the plane suffered a heart attack while on approach and the co-pilot was unable to regain control of the aircraft. But no one really knows.

Here's what has been found out about this aircraft disaster that happened 48 years ago:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Has Technology Improved since flight MH370's disappearance?

Has Technology Improved since flight MH370's disappearance?

Since the mysterious disappearance of MH370 on this day last year, has tracking technology improved?

Airline overbooking is unlawful, yet it remains an airline industry practice

Airline overbooking is unlawful, yet it remains an airline industry practice

Airlines are allegedly overbooking their flights by 10% to compensate for the costs of no-shows.

SAA CEO discusses the airline’s huge operating loss and how Treasury will assist

SAA CEO discusses the airline’s huge operating loss and how Treasury will assist

Financial results are out; SAA is still bleeding (fuel hedging means cheap oil won’t help) and Treasury is reluctant to help.

Air Asia plane sections recovered, and SA signs R14billion antiretroviral tender

Air Asia plane sections recovered, and SA signs R14billion antiretroviral tender

An overview of today's top 3 stories...

Where is MH370?

Where is MH370?

Professor of aviation security at Coventry University, Norman Shanks says it seems unlikely that the ill fated aircraft will ever be found.

Popular articles
[Breaking news!] Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama served with suspension notice

[Breaking news!] Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama served with suspension notice

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Pieter du Toit, the assistant editor at News24.

[LISTEN] Transnet CEO expected to file reasons why he should not be suspended

[LISTEN] Transnet CEO expected to file reasons why he should not be suspended

CEO Siyabonga Gama, CPO Thamsanqa Jiyane and supply chain manager Lindiwe Mdletshe were served with notices on Wednesday.

We need to deracialise our thinking - Sandile Zungu (Black Business Council)

We need to deracialise our thinking - Sandile Zungu (Black Business Council)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews newly elected Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu.

5 highlights from Pravin Gordhan’s state-owned company clean-up

5 highlights from Pravin Gordhan’s state-owned company clean-up

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Corruption Watch Executive Director David Lewis.

To buy or not to buy? That is the question

To buy or not to buy? That is the question

The pros and cons of subscribing to versus buying digital content.

Rand nosedives as South Africa flirts with recession

Rand nosedives as South Africa flirts with recession

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews George Glynos, Head of Research at ETM Analytics.

Zille won't stop fighting to have SANDF property released for affordable housing

Zille won't stop fighting to have SANDF property released for affordable housing

Zille says properties under the control of the state should be made available for local government's affordable housing plans.

Substantial evidence is needed to make arrests in Steinhoff case - Hawks boss

Substantial evidence is needed to make arrests in Steinhoff case - Hawks boss

Hawks head General Godfrey Lebeya joined Xolani on the Afternoon Drive after his first briefing to parliament on Wednesday.

Who will come out victorious? Survivor SA's top 3 get candid on eve of finale

Who will come out victorious? Survivor SA's top 3 get candid on eve of finale

They spent 39 days sleeping in the sand, eating rice, shivering through storms, and surviving backstabbing from their teammates.

Hawks brief Parliament on State Capture and other high profile cases

Hawks brief Parliament on State Capture and other high profile cases

Hawks Head Lieutenant-general Godfrey Lebeya breifed Parliament on some of the unit's high profile cases, on Wednesday.