More wreckage found after the plane crash

A German family died in the plane crash outside Latvia. A 72-year-old man, owner of an airline specializing in small private flights, his 68-year-old wife, their 26-year-old daughter and a 27-year-old man. Parts of the plane have been found in the ongoing search operation.

The family is said to have started the flight in Jerez in southern Spain with Cologne in Germany as their destination, but shortly after take off something happened and the pilot announced that they had suffered a pressure problem in the cabin.

Contact with the small private Cessna 551 aircraft was completely lost over northeastern France and is suspected to have been flying on autopilot until it crashed into the Baltic Sea at 7.45pm on Sunday northwest of the Latvian city of Ventspils, just over three hours from Riga.

Several parts found

Ships from the Latvian Navy took part in the search operation, which continued throughout the night and continued into Monday.

– During the night we only found two parts of the wreck in the water, but in daylight we have had more success and we have now found six parts, says Peteris Subbota, who leads the operation at the Latvian Maritime Rescue Centre, to TT.

The parts are now to be sent away for closer examination, while the search operation is ongoing with three ships and a helicopter on site.

The accident plane is of the same model as the one in the picture. Archive image. Photo: The Peter Butt Aviation Collection/TT

The weather conditions are favorable and if parts continue to be found at the same rate, Peteris Subbota expects the operation to continue until it gets dark on Monday evening. It also plans to begin underwater searches on Tuesday using minesweepers.

– We are still looking for survivors. Second, we’re looking for parts of the wreckage and third, we want to be sure there hasn’t been an oil leak. I can confirm that there is no visible oil leak on the sea surface, says Peteris Subbota.

Missing black boxes

According to aviation safety expert Hans Kjäll, the cause of the crash was probably a leak in the aircraft that caused the oxygen to run out.

– It happens from time to time that you get decompression and are surprised, Kjäll told TT on Sunday.

The model Cessna 551 does not have tachographs, so-called black boxes, which larger aircraft must carry, according to Hans Kjäll, who assesses that the course of action will be difficult to investigate.

Swedish plan assisted

Before the crash, the aircraft was followed by emergency flights from several countries and it was a Swedish coast guard flight that first located the impact site and began the search together with a Swedish rescue helicopter.

– They flew all the way in Latvian territory. We asked the Latvians if it was okay for us to fly in there and they absolutely wanted us to assist, says Lars Antonsson, air rescue leader at the Maritime and Air Rescue Centre.

After the Swedish operation ended on Sunday evening, the Maritime and Air Rescue Center has not received any further request from the Latvian Maritime Rescue to help on Monday.

Neither the Coast Guard flight nor the helicopter are said to have seen the plane crash.

– We got there after the plane had crashed. We could then only see some wreckage, and it is small parts that are involved in a case like this, and a minor oil spill, says Mattias Lindholm, spokesperson for the Coast Guard.

Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by

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