Pilot's son writes matric exam

2009-11-17 08:42 Hermanus - Despite the plane crash tragedy on Saturday in which his father was killed, 18-year-old Greg Stock, a pupil at Hermanus High School, wrote his matric exam in physical sciences (chemistry) on Monday.

Dave Stock died on Saturday when the English Electric Lightning he was flying at the Bredasdorp air show crashed.

Kyle Dods, a spokesperson for the family, said they're each trying to come to terms with the tragedy in their own way.

"Greg is trying to be strong for the sake of his family. That's why he went ahead with his exam," said Dods.

Plane checked

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Marius van den Heever, commanding officer at the Overberg air force base where the air show took place, said on Monday that the English Electric Lightning was thoroughly checked on Friday, and Stock's routine for the air show was precisely evaluated.

The plane belonged to Thunder City in Cape Town.

"The safety official, Lieutenant Colonel Laurie Moore, checked everything and the airplane and its routine was 100%. He (Stock) met all the requirements."

However, there were problems during the flight.

It appears that Stock, an experienced pilot, stayed calm throughout, despite realising he was about to crash after trying three times in vain to activate the ejection seat.

In his last moments, he asked the air traffic controller to tell his family that he loved them.

'My dad's a hero'

Stock, 46, who had lived in Hermanus with his two sons, Gareth, 21, and Greg, had received an SMS from his ex-wife, Debbie, shortly before his last flight. She wished him luck for the Bredasdorp air show.

On Saturday afternoon, Debbie Stock and Gareth had been working in her shop in Hermanus when Gareth received the call about the accident. Greg was home when he was informed about his father's death.

His first reaction was: "My dad's a hero! It can't be true.”

A memorial is being planned to take place on Saturday or Sunday. Further details will be made available at a later stage.

On Monday a special memorial page was started on Facebook by Greg, and by late Monday afternoon there had been 248 people from all over the world expressing their condolences to the Stock family.