The helicopter pilot who flew comedienne Mai TT, real name Felistas Murata, to her wedding venue in Harare on Saturday and died in a crash the following day has been identified as Captain Peter Chirimuuta, aged 33.
The helicopter crashed in Mhondoro while Captain Chirimuuta was flying back to Harare from Kwekwe.
Captain Chirimuuta worked for Chikopokopo Helicopters. He was alone at the time of the incident.
Zivanai Chakwenya, one of the engineers of the helicopter who had worked together in Captain Chirimuuta’s other weekend flights, said the crash could have been caused by bad weather.
The client, which the helicopter had gone to pick up in Kwekwe on the ill-fated return flight, is said to have decided to come to Harare by road. Said Chakwenya:
I am yet to believe the death of my workmate and friend.
The crash could have been caused by bad weather considering that the helicopter crashed away from the intended route.
Flying from Kwekwe could not lead to a crash on the Mhondoro side but bad weather could have forced him to keep the safest route.
We spent the better part of Saturday together when he dropped Mai TT at her wedding held in Chisipite.
From there, we took another client to Macheke, where we had fun with our client.
His trip to Kwekwe is the only one I did not accompany him and, hey, I have been badly affected considering that he was still young and was expecting to join his family in Hwedza for the Easter Holidays.
A Chikopokopo Helicopters official, only identified as Lloyd, told H-Metro that investigations to establish the cause of the crash have commenced. He said:
We are yet to receive information on what exactly happened.
Captain Chirimuuta had gone to pick up our client but the client changed his mind and he returned alone.
The Civil Aviation team and the police have since begun investigating the cause of the crash and details will be released.
Mourners are gathered at Chirimuuta’s home in Glen View 7.
Captain Chirimuuta is survived by his wife and two children.