SA crash pilot jailed 7 years


A SOUTH African millionaire who recently crashed his helicopter in Gwanda was yesterday slapped with a seven-year jail term for violating the country’s airspace and tampering with the nation’s security systems.


Fredrick Wilhelm August Lutzkie will, however, serve an effective three-and-a-half-year jail term after Harare provincial magistrate Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe suspended half of the sentence on condition of good behaviour.

Chikwekwe said he had been fair enough and exercised mercy in passing sentence in view of the fact that Lutzkie was a danger to Zimbabwe’s security.

The magistrate further said despite the fact that Lutzkie (52) was a rich man, he would not be allowed to use his cash in tampering with the country’s sovereignty.

“There is nothing that can stop the court from presuming that the accused could have smuggled gems and even weapons in and out of this country during the time that he illegally entered this country via airspace,” Chikwekwe said.

“He is a danger, not only to himself, but to us all. The court cannot rule out money laundering by the accused and smuggling of contraband. He has not been denied a chance to invest in this country by following proper procedures. One who can smuggle the money into the country cannot fail to do the same and smuggle it out in the same manner. We cannot allow our own security to be undermined.”

The magistrate further said the helicopter that crashed in Zimbabwe’s land was going to be forfeited to the State.

Prior to sentencing, Lutzkie, through his lawyer Vonai Majoko, pleaded with the court to consider the option of a fine saying he had handed himself over to the Zimbabwean authorities after he had informed them of the crashed plane.

Lutzkie said he had some business investment in Zimbabwe and had paid more than R23 million in his joint venture with Gwanda Rural District Council.

Lutzkie, who was arrested on Monday this week, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of contravening sections of the Civil Aviation Act and the Immigration Act.

Prosecutor Michael Reza said during the period extending from February 1 to 28, Lutzkie flew his helicopter from South Africa and landed at Doddiebun Range in Gwanda where he runs a game farm. The court heard that during the material times, he was flying without permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe in accordance with the terms and conditions specified by the authority.

But on the day in question Lutzkie, who is an engineer by profession, said the helicopter developed a mechanical fault and crash-landed prompting him to dig a trench and bury it for fear of an explosion.

This, he said, was done in order to cut oxygen supply to the plane since it had more than 500 litres of Jet A1 fuel. He told the court he had previously flown into the country undetected on two other occasions.


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  1. The law has taken its course, the rich foreigners must not take advantage of a lax situation in-order to exploit resources in Zimbabwe. In reverse, the same wrath of law will be effected to any Zimbabwean who does the same in foreign land. No mercy upon a jackal. The lice (tsikidzi nenda) in our prisons cannot wait to meet his acquaintances.

  2. this demonstrates the uneffectiveness of our civil aviation company, so it means they were not going to detect anything if he hadnt crashed on his own. Our nations Radar system must have full coverage not to protect Harare only. What if it were terrorists taipera teseka tisingazivi

    • all radar and intelligence is positioned on anything and everything to do with Morgan Tsvangirai and the will be shocked at what going around and being gold and money laundering

    • Taura zvako aerial production. Thanks to the reporter forb such information that : “He told the court he had previously flown into the country undetected on two other occasions”

    • hahahah…good one wangu
      hanzi heee tinogona guerilla warfare..mukore uno wemaIntercontinental Ballistic Missile nemaFighter drones
      tinofa tese tisina kana murungu wataona achiuya

    • Taura hako, sometimes if you ponder much bout t u will definitely see Zimbabwe is bt not only underdeveloped bt a not developing state

  3. This actually displays the degree of stupidity of the Zimbabwean authorities, how can they not detect it on the radar..fools leading the blind

    • My response to Prince Charming there are certain meters or kilos which can be detected by the radar man so it means then that this guy was flying too low where the radar cannot detect cz he was flying illegal may thats why it his plane developed a problem because when a helicopter plane is flying too low it does heat too much than when its flying on its normal height.So do not say that it shows stupidity of Zimbabweans while Mlysia aircraft varnished and they could not detect it.

      • @vitsho. Don’t give twisted comparisons becoz the Malaysian plane was detected but the military chose to ignore it.

      • Vitsho why do you want to defend nezvimwe zvisizvo.This guy is said to have come and forth several times unnoticed.Hence thats why we question our boarder security.We are stne age man admit it.And this guy was stupid to hand over himself he thought we will let him loose.By the time he is out of prison he would have lost everything to the top ZANU dogs.

      • Armed with this information from Vitsho, can we now improve in detecting such objects. I see this as a lesson.

    • And to think it was a large, identifiable flying object like a helicopter! In and out the banana republic unnoticed, undetected and unaccounted for! All the same the sentence is too severe. Why put to risk the investment Lutzkie has so far ploughed in the country just for the sake of flexing our poverty- ravaged 33 year old muscles! An option of a large fine would serve the “crime” then channel the fine in order to improve prison farming infrastructure. Appeal my friend, as soon as possible and of course with a bit of diplomatic pressure from the mighty RSA government’ you will be riding back to Suid Afrika like a hero.

  4. @Changlong 11- Usafukura hapwa. A normal person does not boast about the LICE in our prisons! Prisons should be lice-free. The fact that our prisons are lice infected is a symptom that our society is sick. You do not rehabilitate deviants by incarcerating them in filthy prisons. On another note, the helicopter crash incident is a wake-up call to our government to improve our NATIONAL security. We invest in technology yeku tracer kuti atuka President pa social media ndiani when aircraft is being flown in and out of Zimbabwe willy nilly -undetected. What it means is that the Americans can fly a Chinook helicopter into Zim – carry out a sortie – and fly out undetected! Incarcerating the idiot who surrendered himself does not address the porosity of our borders.

  5. Saka vanhu varikungopinda nekubuda pavanodira pasina anoona and we have a minister of ……….Shame. Ask Tsvangson and he will tell you that you can go and come without any notice!

  6. Sometimes we tend to show our lack of common scientific and general knowledge by the comments we make. Zimbabwe’s air space is guarded by radar just like any other state. If a plane flies low in any given country, it may not be detected by radar, even in the US or England. A radar can only detect aircraft flying at a certain level due to obscurity caused by terrain. Lutzkie has not only violated Zimbabwean airspace but even South African airspace and has also not been detected by the South African radar system. So does it mean the South Africans are also as vulnerable by not having detected Lutzkie’s helicopter. Any country is vulnerable when a pilot flies at low altitudes. That is why even that theory was brought up in the advent of the disappearance of the Malaysian MH370. Some of the negative comments here show how people just scrounge to find fault at government at any given opportunity without full knowledge of the technicalities surrounding the particular story. People tend to show stupid reasoning just because they despise some people or establishment and unreasonably try to lay blame for their missing a bus because they overslept. It’s quite shameful.

    • And who told you he wasn’t detected by the South Africans.Why wouldn’t he be detected when the plane actually took off in SA ?The fact the Malaysian plane hasn’t been found yet doesn’t make the Zimbabwean situation normal either.We just need to spend our national income on developing infrastructure and security system establishments not cars,plane tickets,accumulation of small houses etc

    • thats where eyes come in, with all those mass recruits. you would expect low flying noise making air craft to be easy to spot. the truth is that we should have detected this earlier. i will not comment on MH370, but surely i pay taxes in Zimbabwe and deserve the protection i demand. Whether he violated S.A airspace is another issue. he has been convicted of “…tampering with the nation’s security systems.” I doubt the magistrate meant he flew his plane too low but rather manipulated other aspects of our security systems knowing our beloved country i would not rule out bribery.

    • Chando you gave us knowledge about this subject. I think that was the reason behind the crash because someone was trying to evade detection. I think 10 more years will apply to this tsotsi.

  7. @Chando thanx for the clarity coz pple ar gud at attacking some departments in gvt for no apparent reason.

  8. Three times in and out of zim no detection.cant win americans i see or even south africans for that matter.everything is gone to e dogs i see

  9. even in america they could not detect a plane until they saw it flying over a military cantonment @ camp david

  10. What a shame to our gvt they can only priotise on silly things like hacking individuals social network chats,whilst the nation is insecure what if that helicopter was transporting terrorists what would have happened to the innocent citizens?

  11. We always fly Stealth Bombers across Rhodesian territory from our Protectorate camp in Botswana to the Indian Ocean frigates at the correct radar altitude and have never been detected. Yo Russisan made Migs are old type interceptors ideal for Dakotas and the decommossioned Imperials, Angola is better equiped than u guys but I admire yo stupidity for using those dogs to salute that senile President of yos. In modern military combat terms your air space is a sitting duck.

  12. In combat terms Zimbabwe is a sitting duck. We have a very shortlist of all yo militarty pilots and their domicilium you can now begin to imagine what our commandos would do to them just in case we decide to roast yu.

  13. If u declare war on Botswana 4 minutes later yo grid will be down Mazowe Earth Station will fall 8munited later. We only need 1 F22 fighter plane to do that.

  14. @GI Joe botswana can be overrun in hours by Zimbabwe and Gaberone will be ashes in 5minutes.ask your American idiots and they will tell you how Zimbo troops averted the fall of Kinshasa in 2hours.

    • Really, Military strategist! I am amazed a country with such unparalleled military prowess lacks the ability to provide its people with basic services. They averted the fall of Kinshasa but Zimbabweans are dying from medieval diseases. How nauseating.

  15. @wagono..don’t just praise people, check facts first. U can evade radar in some places especially mountanious areas but u are bound to be detected somewhere along the way either on SA side or Zim side. SA,like any other country will not expose their capabilities regarding security. Remember this was not his first time flying undetected. Someone did not do his or her job here. Radar has some blind sports but u need an expert to study them, ie for both countries,to map out the route. After that u need another expert ‘pilot’ to fly the aircraft over that route. The Malaysian plane was detected by military radar,they ignored it. Other countries closeby may have done so too. Incompetence is our problem.

  16. Topera zvomene,taura hako dai asina kuwa ega zvaitora makore kuti abatwe,tofurirana tichiti takapenga. Hapana nyaya wangu.

  17. @ Military Strategist I admire yo false bravado. If u allow a Bell helicopter noisy and with all that radar footprint undetected to sh*t in yo airspae until it falls like Chihuri then ‘walking into Botswana’ could be a milestone for you.

  18. @Military strategist. kurwa nema rebels zvasiyana nekurwa nenyika.guerilla welfare? bvunzai Saddam na Gaddafi.

  19. Chances that the radars are Xhingxhongs or the pilot is extremely capable at radar evasion. Poor Zimbabwe.

  20. We are hiding behind our fingers ladies and gentlemen. Indeed, God still loves Zimbabwe. Thanx to divine intervention. The question remains,’Had this guy not crash- landed, how many more times was he going to fly in and out of Zimbabwe?’ Is this not the same scenario on the Mozambican side?

  21. The whole of southern Africa except Botswan and Angola have poor radar and jet scrumblimg systems. Yo Migs are for saluting yo Presidents and scaring rural folk. Get a life.

  22. @GI joe u dnt knw wht u talking abt. ths z zimbabwe. we have a gud national security system here. as for u and ur country, i thnk u nd to first deal wth internal security then mayb we can talk abt mking self reliant millitarily. by the tym the british get here to defend u, our boys in matebeleland wll hv overun ur desert…

  23. Most of the comments here by G I joe and others are valid really and they make sense but it is also true that zimbabwe has poor military technology , now this however serves as a wake up call to our relavent authorities and the government that it is never too late to equip your young minds inoder for them to come up with new systems not those ones we bought from the Europeans but we need to have universities that focus on researches and a whole lot other technological possibilities . I blame the ministry of higher and tertiary education that department really is doing us no good , young folks are just getting the same old crapy degrees but in over two decades now zimbabwe has not invested in educating the young mind through local uniz but rather we battle over petty social network issues , I believe the solution to any problem we have can be tackled by us we just need our fathers to have faith in us and start investing on us by building better quality uniz we catter for research

    • our security forces present a false sense of security to the public. nyika yedu inemasoja anorova vanhu kuti akwire kombi mahara, masoja ane uniform madhende, tundege tushanu tunogara tusina fuel, mapilot maviri ari “combat ready”, maradar amunotaura tisingaverengi zvepa Harare international ane mbeva (kwete makonzo) maari, takaapihwa neChina tikatumira ma O level ekwamurinye kunodzidziswa kuashandisa, kubva pavadzoka havasati vakwanisa kuti achinje language from chinese, mapurisa emuno (even riot) inotakura FN rifle yakasiiwa neRhodesia (more effective for hittin some! that actually shooting them), vakuru ve security forces (top 100) ma war vet who have no clue about 21st century warfare, security threat yavanoziva chete vanhu vasinga supporte zanu pf…………. i can go on all day. ITS PATHETIC!

  24. Haiwawo haikona kuti SA yakatadza kumu detector. Ko kana ane licence yeku flyer ku SA obvious they don’t care what happens out of their air space kana kwavo kwakabhadharwa. Akatoona kuti besides even dai aitsvaga licence kuZim haiwana coz nekutya kunoita kamdhara kaye as evidenced by his motorcade, wht more a helicopter coming and going at will. Ndosaka vavhunduka tsvee kufunga kuti what if he uses the helicopter to bring food, and other resources as medicine to his game range since he owns 1, vakuti ko kana waitora mari, ko kana waiuya nema weapon. Obvious hapana kwaanowana zvisvinu ku Gwanda so if he had a truck dai aiunza stuff for his game nerhori, its unfortunate ane mari and aiunza nezikopo kopo but ava vekuda kutonga stereke, kutya kubvondorwa knowing very well,all their war equipment is old, inherited from 1979 war, and also probably not functional. Ungataure zvehondo ye button stick nekuita noise over ma stilth, ne hobho undetectable fighter equipment not even detected by proper radars wozoti ka Zimbabwe kane ma building pano nepapo kumwe kwese isango zvaro no need to harm rabbits dzisina mhosva. I 2 mins 4 seconds, imi muchiri ku bleeder dhiziri muma fighter jets

  25. Nhai hako Chando.., saka kureva kuti kana mhandu dzikatouya dziri mu level iri tingotomama ka ngekuti radar haioni zvepasi.??? Ndo Security dzacho ere manje.???

  26. Nhai hako Chando.., saka kureva kuti kana mhandu dzikatouya dziri mu level iri low tingotomama ka ngekuti radar haioni zvepasi.??? Ndo Security dzacho ere manje.???

  27. One great weakness with yo air defence is that its staffed with chefs children because u regard flying and aviation as a career for the connected. With a security lapse of this magnitude heads must roll but they wont.

  28. During Operation Blue Hungwe a joint military exercise between Zim, UK and USA yo military supremos were most suprised (confused) by very simple drills involving aircraft manuvres. You must have remained members of the Commonwealth u reaped morethan u sow.

  29. Yo Ammunition Stores Depot in Inkomo Garrison was reduced to cinders in 1982, an army Helicopter stolen from New Sarum Airbase and more recently a cache of brand new AK47 rifles was stolen from Pomona Barracks by a civilian for that matter and now yu shake yo little fists at the might of America whose obselete weapons u buy from secondary Chinese blackmarkets, America does not want war with u guys.

  30. Am told prior to 2000 all your Air Defence Equipment was sourced in the Commonwealth and u told them to go to hell and they did, inastantly exposing yo aerial flank to the effect that some of yo airforce personnel were sent to SA were they taught black SAfricans how to fly but found it hard because SA had ultra modern equipment, in security terms that was naive only noone wanted to fight with you, how would you respond to a drone attack @ Military Strategist? Arrest Morgan? Being landlocked if yoy are pummeled with an S-300 with a depleted uranium warhead what do yu do in counter, perhaps run to kill all whites and takeover the remaining farms and mines. Americans are not used to fairplay they are impervious to slogans they speak the war language.

  31. Batswanas I work with tell me you guys dont have a currency of yo own but then most of them are very biased against u. For instance they swear all of you speak English better than the Queen and Cameroon put together. Further am told u call yo toilets Blairs to spite the former British premier. If that is true its very fun.

    • GI joe . Ur commenting might be right but you are such a terrible listener. Stop bombarding us with your countless remarks. Think through what you want and express it maybe in one answer. We will be able to understand you. It seems sometimes you are solo in your remarks coz its hard follow you.

  32. President Chiwenga is firmly in control and Zimbabweans have nothing to worry about and it will continue to be business as usual. Zimbabwe’s air defenses are not an issue. Does anyone really think there is anything of value left in Zimbabwe to make it worthwhile to even fly here to “get it”? Nobody is interested in what is left of Zimbabwe; even Zimbabweans have already realized this and have continued to leave the country by the thousands and millions. President Chiwenga and his den of thieves have no worries and will remain in firm control for decades to come.

  33. Despite what the World think about my beloved Country Zimbabwe, l will always walk tall and will never be ashamed of Zimbabwe. We all rise n fall n have our good n bad tyms. N so these are our bad times. They are a lot of things we have lost in the fire but l stil have hope with my Great nation of Zimbabwe. I Love Zimbabwe.

    • @zezuru. There aint anything wrong lovn the land call zimbabwe but if you meant you that you can tolerate dictatorship or human rights violations jus because its your country I wouldn’t take you seriously

  34. Please get more information on the other unmentioned visits into this country by this man. Waktanga riini and all other secret activities.

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