Three Australians, including two Qantas pilots have been injured after a vintage plane crashed while taking off from an airport in South Africa.
They were among the 19 people – 16 passengers, two pilots and a flight engineer – travelling on the 1954 era Convair CV-340 aircraft.
The crash on Tuesday afternoon happened at the Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria after the plane faltered soon after take-off and slammed into a nearby building.
Those killed were the flight engineer and a person in the building hit by the plane, according to South Africa’s Times Live website.
“There were a number of serious injuries with one fatal injury confirmed on the accident scene. In addition, three people who were on the ground were injured. One of them passed away this morning,” the South African Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.
Private paramedic service ER24 said first responders arrived to find the wreckage alight.
“Several patients were trapped in the aircraft and their injuries ranged from minor to critical,” a spokesman said.
Times Live said one passenger suffered a double amputation in the crash.
The Australian pilots are A380 captains Douglas Haywood, a flight trainer, and Ross Kelly, who is retired.
The pair were taken to a Johannesburg hospital with serious injuries.
Mr Kelly is said to be in a critical condition while Mr Haywood is stable.
Mr Kelly’s wife, Lyndal, was also on board and is believed to be in a stable condition.
“We were deeply upset to learn that two Qantas pilots, one current and one retired, were on board the vintage aircraft involved in an accident in South Africa on Tuesday,” a Qantas spokesman said.
“This news has shocked the Qantas pilot community and everyone’s thoughts are with the families.
“We’ve reached out and are providing whatever support we can.”
A friend of Mr Kelly, who had recently retired from Qantas, told Channel Nine he had been working on the project to rebuild the vintage aircraft for months.
“Ross is among the most experienced pilots and was well versed in this sort of aircraft operations,” Andy Hardy told Nine.
The Convair 340 aircraft was on a test flight before it was to be flown to a Dutch plane museum within weeks.
In 2016, Mr Haywood and Mr Kelly, who both have at least 30 years’ flying experience, flew another Convair 340 aircraft from the Pretoria airport to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society in NSW’s Illawarra region.
The pair has been members of HARS for decades, while Mr Haywood was a former Air Force pilot before joining Qantas.
South African crash investigators said two people on the ground at the time of the crash were among the injured.