A private Cessna 551 plane crashed off the coast of Latvia on Sunday in unclear circumstances. The pilot reported problems with cabin pressure shortly after takeoff from the Spanish city of Jerez and then stopped communicating. According to the radar, the plane then unusually circled over Paris and Cologne and then headed towards the Baltic Sea, where it crashed. Rescuers have not yet found any human remains.
According to the authorities, the plane with Austrian registration OE-FGR, whose owner was from Spain, was originally supposed to land in Cologne, Germany. Shortly after the Iberian Peninsula, however, air traffic controllers were suddenly unable to establish contact with the crew. The plane then changed course and began to make erratic maneuvers over the territory of France and Germany, which was captured by the website FlightRadar24.
According to the Reuters agency, emergency fighter jets quickly took off from the NATO base. Their pilots did not manage to contact the lost machine and allegedly did not see anyone in the cockpit, according to the BBC server. The plane continued north towards the Baltic Sea.
But near the Latvian city of Ventspils, he got into a corkscrew and crashed into the sea. According to the commander of the rescue operation, Lars Antosson, the plane ran out of fuel at that moment after several hours of flight. Emergency services from Latvia, Sweden and Lithuania arrived at the scene of the accident.
Loss of consciousness of the crew
Rescuers did not find any human remains in the vicinity of the crashed machine, reports Reuters. “We have no explanation at all for this. We can only speculate about what happened,” Antosson told AFP. “But the crew was clearly not able to control the machine,” he added.
There were reportedly four people on board – the pilot, a man, a woman and her daughter, according to the German tabloid Bild. According to some experts, the drop in pressure in the cabin, which the pilot reported shortly after takeoff, is probably behind the crash. Because of this, all the passengers could soon lose consciousness.
“And this can happen quickly, especially at altitudes where small planes fly,” noted aviation safety expert Hans Kjäll for the Swedish agency TT.