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Monday, 15 August 2011 15:57

Frans Dely, South African aviation photographerSouth African aviation photographer Frans Dely is believed to be among the 12 people aboard two Piaggio P166 Albatross aircraft, which were flying in formation after leaving the Tzaneen Air Show in Tzaneen, Limpopo, South Africa.  The aircraft lost contact with air traffic control about 30 minutes after their departure.

Search and rescue effort are concentrating on rugged George’s Valley, between Polokwane and Tzaneen, accessible only by helicopter.

It is believed that one of the flights was being piloted by Brian Gruar. At this stage it is not known who piloted the second plane. In addition to Dely and the pilots, it's reported that the missing include Tess Spence and Louise Warden, who are married to pilots Dennis Spence and Glen Warden, and Linda Pierce, the fiancée of Aviation magazine editor Athol Franz.

Frans Dely is a personal friend of mine.  We met, sharing some refreshments and story telling at Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI in July 2010, during an informal gathering of International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP) members, to which we both belong.  I last chatted with Frans in mid July.  He owns AvPix (avpix.co.za).

The aviation photography community is anxiously awaiting good news on the whereabouts of this world class photographer and the others involved.

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Last Updated on Monday, 15 August 2011 16:28
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