Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Tourist plane crashes in Swiss Alps, all 20 on board dead

Tourist plane crashes in Swiss Alps, all 20 on board dead

Eleven men and nine women between the ages of 42 and 84 were killed.

The plane was operated by Ju-Air, a Swiss company that offers tours with vintage former Swiss military aircraft.

The parents and two children crashed roughly 30 minutes after their plane took off from an airfield in Kägiswil, headed towards France, Swiss police said.

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

"What we can rule out at this point is that there had been a collision before the crash, neither with another aircraft nor with some other obstacle such as a cable".

Speaking Sunday at a news conference in Flims, he said the vintage plane presumably didn't have the crash-resistant cockpit voice and data recorders that more modern aircraft have.

The wreckage of the plane was in a basin at 2,450 metres (8,000 feet) above sea level surrounded on three sides by peaks, a Reuters witness said.

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The crash occurred above the Swiss Alpine resort of Flims, an area popular with hikers and skiers. Knecht said that while heat can affect an aircraft's performance, experienced pilots could deal with that.

JU-Air says it runs a small fleet of four Junker planes, all built in 1939, which are for hire. He said it had its full annual service during the winter, and "we know of no technical problems with this aircraft".

Local media and aviation websites have reported that the plane, which seated 17 passengers along with two pilots and a flight attendant, was fully booked and that no one survived.

The aircraft was in possession of JU-Air, a company with links to the Swiss Air Force.

The incident was the worst in Switzerland for several years, but just one of three plane crashes in the country in the space of eight days.

A brochure on the company's website listed the cost of the 2-day Locarno trip as 1,130 francs ($1,136), including meals and a night in a hotel.

Operator JU-Air has now suspended all flights until further notice.

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