Tourist plane carrying 17 passengers and three crew members took off Saturday afternoon on a sightseeing flight but fate had something else in save.
The JU-52 HB-HOT aircraft was constructed in 1939. As the World War 2 vintage aircraft was traveling between Ticino in the south of the country and Dübendorf military airfield near Zurich, it crashed into the mountainside.
Daniel Knecht of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board said the plane appears to have hit the ground near-vertically and at high speed in Saturday’s crash. On Sunday, speaking at a news conference in the Alpine resort of Films near the crash site, Knecht said the vintage plane presumably didn’t have the crash-resistant cockpit voice and data recorders that more modern aircraft have. The police did not receive any distress calls.
Kurt Waldmeier, the Chief Executive of the airline, said, “Yesterday was the worst day in the 36-year history of JU-Air. We have all suffered a very great loss.”
The vintage aircraft crashed about 2,540m (8,333 ft) above sea level, on the western side of a 3,000m peak called Piz Segnas. “Based on the situation at the crash site we can say that the aircraft smashed into ground almost vertically at relatively high speed,” said Daniel Knecht of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board.
The passengers comprised of 11 men and 9 women between the ages of 42 and 84 years. Additionally, 2 pilots and a flight attendant were on board. The police is currently contacting the families of the deceased persons.
This has not been the only recent tourist plane crash; hours before this, on the same day, there was another crash further west in the Alps. A family of four including two young children were left dead.