A private Cessna plane with four people on board crashed into the Baltic Sea off the coast of Latvia on Sunday. Before that, he was escorted over the territory of several European countries by fighter jets, because the ground staff had no connection with the pilot. He must have lost consciousness.
According to the German newspaper Bild, a Cessna 551 aircraft registered in Austria and heading from the southern Spanish city of Jerez to the western German city of Cologne reported problems with the pressure in the cabin. Contact with the pilot was lost soon after the plane departed the Iberian Peninsula. Fighters of the French Air Force took off towards him in French airspace, and after flying over the territory of Germany, two pairs of Luftwaffe planes followed, and then Danish fighters. “Their crews saw no one in the cockpit,” Reuters quotes Johan Wahlström from the Swedish Maritime Administration.
The plane flew over the largest German island of Rügen, entered Swedish airspace south of Gotland, then flew towards the Gulf of Riga and crashed into the sea near the town of Ventspils.
Without citing a source, Bild wrote that in addition to the pilot, a man, a woman and their daughter were traveling on the plane.
At the request of the Latvian authorities, a Lithuanian military helicopter flew to the place where the plane crashed, and Latvia sent ships there. The Swedish rescue helicopter was also involved in the search, and the ferry between Ventspils and Norvik, Sweden, changed its route due to the accident.