A private plane crashed into the Baltic Sea off the coast of Latvia and Sweden on Sunday afternoon, after unexplained wanderings through Europe. The so-called ‘ghost plane‘ took off from the airport of Jerez de la Frontera and had Cologne as its destination.
Various national and international media talk about a ghost plane because contact with the pilot was no longer possible just after take-off from Jerez de la Frontera. Shortly after departure, the plane had problems with the cabin pressure, according to the German newspaper Bild. Fighter planes from the German and Danish Air Forces attempted to intercept the plane and escort it safely to the ground. However, they too were unable to contact the pilot and saw no one in the cockpit during their attempts.
Unexplained wanderings through Europe
During the flight, the pilot changed course several times. It was reported, the plane flew over Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany and eventually set course for Denmark and the Baltic Sea. Moreover, the reason for this strange route is as yet unknown. In the end the aircraft was accompanied by a Eurofighter from Sweden and an F-16 from Denmark. The latter pilots saw how the plane lost height and speed near Gotland (Sweden). Finally, just under 5 hours after takeoff, FlightRadar24 listed the plane as having plunged into the sea.
Occupants have a holiday home in the south of Spain
According to various media, there were four people on board with German nationality; a pilot, husband, wife and their daughter. According to the Spanish news site Lasexta.com, the latter three had a holiday home in Zahara de los Atunes in Cádiz. Emergency services are left in the dark about what happened on board and why the occupants were unable to respond.
Possible wreckage found in Baltic Sea
Rescue services from Sweden and Latvia immediately started the search for wreckage in the afternoon. The Spanish news site 20minutos.es reported Monday morning that wreckage may have been found. These would have been seen 100 kilometres west of Gotland. The found remains have been sent for research to confirm whether they indeed come from the private plane. Rescue workers have not yet found any bodies in the search area. However, they take into account that there are probably no survivors.