Family of four killed on last day of dream holiday as rookie pilot, 21, crashes ‘overloaded’ plane into river


A FAMILY of four were horrifically killed on the last day of their dream holiday after a rookie pilot collapsed an “overloaded” plane into a river.

Thomas Rings, 59, his spouse Dr Evelyn Rings, 57, and also children Alicia, 19, and also Paulina, 17, passed away when the light airplane dove nose-first into crocodile-infested waters.


Thomas Rings, his spouse Evelyn and also their children Alicia and also Paulina unfortunately passed away on the last day of their dream holiday
Newly-qualified pilot Nicole Mienie, 21, was not given a proper runway briefing


Newly-certified pilot Nicole Mienie, 21, was not offered a correct path instruction
Investigators say the plane was massively over weight with the tourists baggage


Investigators claim the plane was greatly over weight with the travelers luggage
The Cessna 210 high-wing plane plummeted into the River Zambezi in August 2022


The Cessna 210 high-wing plane dropped into the River Zambezi in August 2022

The brood were leaving the sensational waterside lodge they had actually remained at for 3 days located on the River Chobe in Namibia.

They fatefully climbed up into a Cessna 210 high-wing plane with newly-qualified pilot Nicole Mienie, 21, for a two-hour journey in August 2022.

But the doomed trip back to the resources Windhoek finished in misfortune as the plane had actually currently surpassed its optimum weight limitation.

Nicole had very first “ballooned” her plane off the path and also back up into the air while attempting to land to grab the waiting travelers.

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An Air Accident Investigation after that listened to just how the Cessna C210 swiftly ran into difficulty simply minutes after liftoff after transforming prematurely.

The airplane rolled out of the skies and also shattered into trees prior to diving into the close-by River Zambezi, with residents explaining listening to a “loud bang”.

Rescuers harrowingly listened to screams from the water logged wreck as they shattered their method into the cabin with axes.

But by the time they made their method inside the water logged airplane, the German family and also the South African pilot were dead.

A damning record into the collision by the Republic of Namibia disclosed the plane had actually removed in severe warm from a high-altitude airstrip regardless of surpassing the optimum weight limitation onboard.

A business pilot declared that the vacationer’s bags were so hefty that the tail of the plane was virtually touching the airstrip.

Investigators listened to pilot Nicole, that had actually logged simply 82 hrs of flying light airplane, removed while the Cessna evaluated 75lbs over the 3800lb limitation.

The charter driver, Scenic Air, informed their pilot to unload some baggage and also provide to the vehicle driver that transported the family to the remote Navy airstrip, which light airplane are permitted to make use of to generate abundant travelers to neighborhood safari lodges. 

Several bags were removed to lighten the tons and also were gone back to the travelers’ high-end river rental property to be kept there.

But also after eliminating some of the bags, the weight of the family and also their continuing to be bags still place the Cessna over the limitation.

Accident detectives evaluated all 5 bodies adhering to postmortem prior to evaluating the luggage that was onboard after it dried.

The weight of the six-seater airplane and also the gas on board additionally needed to be taken into factor to consider. 

The record ended that the likely reason of the collision was the airplane delaying after making a left turn prematurely, while simply over 200 feet off the ground, and also the airplane surpassing the weight limitation.

The plane’s reduced rate as it climbed up as well as the wing flaps being pulled back while flying listed below the advised rate to do so were additionally provided as adding aspects.


The record specified that the Cessna was speeding downwards at 55 knots, causing the engine and also prop being duped the body.

The 30-page authorities evaluation makes it clear that its function is not to aim blame or lawful obligation, however to advertise aeronautics security and also to minimize the threat of crashes in the future.  

But a very knowledgeable Cessna C210 pilot that had actually flown the airplane for over a years in both Namibia and also South Africa stated the mishap was triggered unfortunately as a result of pilot mistake.  

He was supported by various other C210 pilots that check out the just-released record and also concerned the very same verdict that the collision was totally preventable in a non-defective airplane. 

The elderly pilot stated: “This was a low-hour pilot with a business permit held for much less than a year being sent out to an airstrip she was not familiar with and also not been oriented totally around.  

“Ballooning the airplane ahead of her customers on touchdown would certainly have humiliated her and also triggered tension and also the travelers after that having excessive luggage just included in that.  

“It is bad for pilot/customer connections and also it comes to be a difficult phone call to inform paying customers to unload some of their bags when you understand it’s the last point they intend to do.  

“Very unfortunately the plane removed overloaded and also it was flying also sluggish to transform so very early and also with the flaps additionally having actually been pulled back ahead of time the Cessna went into a limited delay.  

“At that elevation, the delay was nearly unrecoverable and also unfortunately all 5 passed away however there is no question this was a crash that can have been prevented and also blunders were made.  


“This was a really warm day undoubtedly on a path 3000ft over water level which additionally deteriorates airplane efficiency and also the left turn after liftoff was gone into also sluggish and also also hefty.  

“When the Cessna was stalled the subsequent crash was very sadly inevitable” he stated.  

Despite Nicole having 320 hrs of flying time on her permit, she just had 82 hrs of experience on a light airplane after certifying as a business pilot in November 2021.

The record revealed she was not offered a correct path instruction on an unknown airstrip prior to her trip.  

The Air Accident Report authorized off by the Namibian Minister of Works & Transport Mr John Mutorwa MP that approved the searchings for and also referrals to prevent future crashes. 

Post-mortems videotaped that the pressure of the airplane affecting with the River Zambezi was “beyond human tolerance” and also despite seat harnesses on, all 5 would certainly have been fatally harmed.  

Thomas, Evelyn and also their children had actually hired the light airplane to choose them up after 3 evenings holidaying at the close-by high-end Chobe Water Villas neglecting the water.  

They had actually been on a three-week dream holiday delighting in safaris throughout Southern Africa and also were on the last leg of their journey flying back to Windhoek to sign up with a trip residence to Munich. 

But their penultimate trip lasted much less than a min, with much of it in horror, as the young pilot delayed the airplane and also it went into a deadly dive down into the dirty river listed below.  

Pilot Nicole was born in mind at a funeral in Namibia a fortnight after the case, gone to by her daddy Nico, mum Alicia and also older sibling Carmen that obtained wed a month after the air collision.  

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The family from Oudtshoorn, Klein Karoo, South Africa stated at the time: “Nicole matriculated from institution at the age of 17 and also afterwards she started her dream to certify as a pilot.  

“Her life was flying and for the last four months of it she was privileged to be flying in her beloved Namibia.  We miss Nicole every single day and think of her every single day.”

Pilot Nicole had just 82 hours of experience on flying the light aircraft


Pilot Nicole had simply 82 hrs of experience on flying the light airplane
The German family had enjoyed the holiday of a life time before tragedy struck


The German family had actually taken pleasure in the holiday of a life time prior to misfortune struck
The Cessna 210 ran into trouble after it turned too early and stalled shortly after takeoff


The Cessna 210 ran into difficulty after it transformed prematurely and also delayed soon after departure
The five victims had departed from a remote Navy airstrip in Namibia


The 5 sufferers had actually left from a remote Navy airstrip in Namibia

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