She was one of three women dashing across the airstrip at Ermelo on Monday, when she was hit by the aircraft’s left wing as it came in to land, Beeld newspaper reported.

It is thought the 50-year-old woman was trying to collect wood from a plantation near the airfield when she was struck, dying instantly.

Captain Carla Prinsloo, said: “They took a shortcut over the airfield but one of the women miscalculated and was hit by the plane’s left wing.”

Local residents were known to erect ladders on both sides of the airstrip, regularly climbing over them to cross the runway.

An autopsy was due to be held today.