CAA investigate Cape Point helicopter crash
Hendrik Marais crashed during a forced landing near Oliphantsbos while water bombing a flare-up fire.
CAPE TOWN - The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is investigating the Cape Point helicopter crash in which a veteran pilot died.
Hendrik Marais was water bombing a flare up fire in the area when his chopper went down in mountainous terrain.
Firefighters had been battling the fire in Cape Point National Park throughout last week.
All roads leading to the crash site at Cape Point have been closed to visitors while authorities scour the area for answers to the tragedy.
Marais, an employee of Working on Fire was also a decorated pilot who had previously served in the South African Police Service and the South African Air Force.
The organisation's Evelyn Holtzhausen says the forensic investigation could take several weeks.
"It's impossible to speculate what happened. We're going to have to wait for an investigation, but at this moment there is so many factors and nobody knows for sure."
Marais' helicopter crashed during a forced landing near Oliphantsbos on the Western side of the reserve. WATCH: Hendrik Marais was featured in one of EWN's videos a few days ago:
WATCH: Hendrik Marais was featured in one of EWN's videos a few days ago:
The former Air Force pilot is being remembered as a hero with condolences streaming in for his family.
Mayor Patricia de Lille has paid tribute to Marais for the contribution that he's made saving lives and protecting property.
"We all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this legendry pilot, I want to express on behalf of the Cape Town Community, our condolences to his family and to his friends."
Many have also expressed their shock and extended their condolences on social networks.
My sincere condolences to the family of Hendrik Marais the pilot who died this afternoon whilst attempting to... http://t.co/Ep1cp4drN5
- Cole Davids (@cole_davids) March 8, 2015
- Raymond Joseph (@rayjoe) March 8, 2015
Firefighting Pilot killed in helicopter crash Rip" @Abramjee: Firefighters mourn the loss of pilot Hendrik Marais
- Jonathan Levin (@Gawiesnr) March 9, 2015
For EWN's special feature on Cape fires, click here.