Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Vintage plane's crash in Switzerland killed all 20 on board, police say

Junkers crash Swiss Alps One of the JU-AIR Junkers
Jay Anderson | 05 August, 2018, 20:27

The Junker Ju-52 aircraft smashed into a mountainside near the resort of Flims in the east of the country on Saturday.

Officials said Sunday the vintage aircraft appeared to hit the ground near-vertically and at a high speed.

Police said that all 20 people on board the plane, including its three crew members, died.

Among those killed were 17 people from Switzerland and a three-person family from Austria, police said.

There are now no details on casualties but the Ju-52 can carry up to 17 passengers, two passengers and a flght attendant.

The airspace above the crash site was closed by the Federal Office for Civil Aviation and access to popular hiking trails in the surrounding area was blocked.




Knecht said officials expect the investigation of the cause to be "relatively complex, because we have to compare various indications, information and evidence and evaluate them".

In another Swiss plane crash on Saturday, a tourist plane carrying a couple and two young children crashed in a forest in the Nidwald canton and immediately burst into flames. The heat makes air thinner, increasing the burden on the aircraft.

The Junker JU52 HB-HOT aircraft was built in Germany in 1939 and is now a collectors' item.

The plane that crashed had logged 10,187 hours of flying time, he said, adding that it underwent maintenance after every 35 hours of flight - most recently at the end of July.

The plane was operated by Ju-Air, a Swiss company that offers tours with vintage former Swiss military aircraft. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all of them volunteers.

The company, which operates two other Ju-52s, suspended flights until further notice after the crash.

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