An Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) aircraft, SF 260 Genet trainer, crashed near Dabuka Railway Siding in Gweru around 2pm on Tuesday killing instructor Squadron Leader Mkhululi Dube (37) and trainee pilot Officer Cadet Silungile Sweswe (25).
The two were on routine training from Josiah Tungamirai Airbase, Commander Air Force of Zimbabwe Air Marshal Elson Moyo said in a statement yesterday conveying his condolences to the families of two pilots.
“It was with a heavy heart and a deep sense of sorrow that I learnt of the aircraft accident that claimed the lives of our pilots. On behalf of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, officers and members, and indeed on my behalf, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the families of Squadron Leader Dube and Officer Cadet Sweswe,” said Air Mashal Moyo yesterday.
He said the Air Force of Zimbabwe was robbed of a proficient pilot in Squadron Leader Dube and a dedicated trainee pilot.
“While the Air Force of Zimbabwe was mourning, it is also a moment to reflect and recognise the sacrifices and dedication of the deceased pilots. The AFZ will forever cherish their commitment to excellence in training and unwavering dedication to duty,” said Air Mashal Moyo.
AFZ is investigating the accident.
“This is usually the training ground for trainee pilots and we usually gather to view their flying prowess. We were surprised when the plane started making some jerks when it was turning, and then it crashed and there was a cloud of dust. We then rushed to the scene, but we could not help,” said a witness who requested not to be named.
A team arrived at the scene about 20 minutes after the crash to investigate.
Outside being a flying instructor, Squadron Leader Dube was the secretary-general of Chapungu FC.
“He joined the club as the deputy secretary-general in 2018 before he was elevated to the post of secretary-general in 2015. His experience and commitment to football administration will be solely missed by the club and the football fraternity at large,” said the statement.