Image via: @TableMountainNP / Twitter

SANParks helicopter damaged, pilot injured after takeoff at CT airport

SANParks said the pilot who was flying alone during the incident only suffered minor injuries. Still, what a way to start the New Year.


Image via: @TableMountainNP / Twitter

A South African National Parks (SANParks) helicopter was damaged after losing control during takeoff from Cape Town International Airport on the morning of 2 January 2021. While the pilot suffered minor injuries, it still wasn’t the best way to start the New Year. 


According to the statement issued by SANParks, the pilot who was flying alone during the incident only suffered minor injuries and did receive medical attention. 

SANParks spokesperson Rey Thakhuli said the pilot was treated at the scene and is now recovering at home. When asked what contributed to the pilot losing control of the helicopter, Thakhuli said it is now under investigation, therefore, nothing can be said, just yet, as to what took place. He said there will be more information once the investigation is complete. 

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the relevant law enforcement authorities have been notified of the accident and a full investigation into the cause of the accident will be launched.

“The aircraft is based in Cape Town to assist with aerial law enforcement and conservation management operations in the Table Mountain National Park and surrounding areas,” SANParks said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.  


SANParks, on Tuesday 29 December,  announced that its national parks would remain open as per the strict amended level three regulations set out by Ramaphosa on Monday night. SANParks Acting CEO Xola Mkefe said in line with the amended regulations all day and overnight guests are still welcome. 

“Everyone is encouraged to abide by the regulations when entering any of our national parks,” said Mkefe. 

Mkefe said they are obligated to ensure that all operations are managed under the strictest health protocols to safeguard both staff and guests. 

“As a result, we are continuing with limiting face to face contact between staff and guests by encouraging online and telephonic day visit bookings on 012-428-9111 or”

“At this stage overnight reservations at Parks where there is controlled access remain unaffected. Opening and closing times of gates, as well as some early morning and evening activities, may be affected and guests are requested to seek clarity at the Parks or camps where these bookings may have been made,” he added.