The German Air Force (Luftwafe) confirmed in a tweet on Sunday evening that the plane had crashed.
All contact with the aircraft was lost prior to the crash. According to the German newspaper “Bild”, the plane was flown by a pilot, a man, a woman and her daughter, but the source of the data is not specified.
Spanish newspaper El Pais, citing Spanish sources involved in the incident, reported that the plane likely belonged to a German family. The Austrian news agency APA reported that the plane was registered in Austria under the name of a German company.
Oh my—I believe I just watched a private jet go down between Latvia and Sweden:
Johan Ahlin, a spokesman for the Swedish Maritime Rescue Agency, said the coast guard found traces of oil in the water and smaller wreckage, Swedish broadcaster STV reported. Mr Ahlin said there was little hope of finding the plane’s passengers alive.
According to Bild, the plane reported pressure problems in the cabin after taking off from Jerez in southern Spain and lost contact with the ground shortly after it left the Iberian Peninsula.
An alert squadron consisting of two Eurofighter fighter jets was launched into German airspace due to the unusual flight behavior, a Luftwaffe spokesman told dpa on Sunday evening. According to initial data, the pilot may have lost consciousness.
The Cessna 551 was due to land at Cologne Airport, but flew past the German island of Rügen, into Swedish airspace, then south of the island of Gotland and on towards the Gulf of Riga before crashing into the sea.
A rescue operation is underway, a representative of the authorities told Latvian news agency Leta. Helicopters from Lithuania and Sweden are also participating in the search. It is not yet clear in which country the accident occurred.
A Lithuanian helicopter also participated in the search
When a private passenger plane crashed off the coast of Latvia, a Lithuanian military helicopter took part in the search operations in the Baltic Sea.
According to the army’s report, information was received on Sunday that a passenger plane fell into the Baltic Sea near Latvia.
After the aircraft crashed in the territory of the Riga flight information region, a request was received from Latvia to raise a helicopter for search and rescue operations.
From the Nemirseta watch post around 9 p.m. The Lithuanian Air Force AS365N3+ “Dauphin” helicopter took off.
Having found nothing, Latvia, which is coordinating the search operation, has temporarily suspended the search operations, which are planned to continue during daylight hours.
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