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South African Dies in Fiery Plane Crash at Bang Phra Airport in Central Thailand

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CHONBURI – A former South African Air Force pilot was killed when his small plane crashed while attempting to land at Bang Phra airport in Si Racha district Sunday afternoon, police said.

Michael Charles Lomberg, 60, was flying one of three light aircraft belonging to a disability rights advocacy group called “Handiflight Around the World” that left Chiang Rai airport at 10am, police said.

Pol Col Ruangsak Buadaeng, chief of Si Racha police station, said police, rescuers and other local administrative officials found the plane engulfed in flames.

The plane bore a logo of the Swiss national flag and a sticker reading “Handi Flight”. Several power cables in the area were found broken off, and were believed to have struck by the crashed plane, the Bangkok Post reported.

Rescuers and other local administrative officials found the plane engulfed in flames.

Somchet Ketwatthana, mayor of tambon Bang Phra municipality, said he had learned that the dead pilot had flown around the world despite being disabled in both legs.

The pilot and two other planes in the group were scheduled to fly on to Phuket and Singapore after making a stop in Chon Buri, according to Mr Somchet.

The other two aircraft landed safely.

Reports said that he was among a group of handicapped pilots who had flown around the world to raise awareness of the capabilities of people with disabilities and raise funds for charity. He had flown from Bangladesh across Myanmar to northern Thailand.