The private plane that crashed last night off the coast of Latvia in the Baltic Sea turns out to belong to a wealthy German family. On the plane were a 72-year-old businessman – Karl-Peter Griesemann – along with his 68-year-old wife, his 26-year-old daughter and her 27-year-old boyfriend. Reuters writes that and several German media confirm this. According to the Swedish Coast Guard, the chance that the occupants survived the disaster is very small. “Most likely, the occupants could no longer breathe due to pressure problems,” says pilot Tom Mertens.
Private jet collapsed
Last night, a private jet crashed off the coast of Latvia, in the Baltic Sea. The cause of the crash is still unknown. It now appears that the plane was owned by a wealthy German family. The entire family was said to have been on board when the plane crashed. The family of the suspected victims confirmed this to the Express newspaper. The Latvian coastguard has already recovered part of the crashed plane, but there is no trace of the occupants.
The 72-year-old businessman is called Peter Griesemann and heads Griesemann Gruppe, an engineering firm that specializes in the construction and maintenance of industrial installations. GG Rent, a charter company for private jets, is also part of the company. It is suspected that it was Griesemann who was behind the controls of the private jet. His 68-year-old wife was also on the plane, along with his 26-year-old daughter and her boyfriend. The family was also very active in the carnival life in Cologne.
A lot of uncertainty
It is still very unclear how the flight could have ended so dramatically. The Cessna 551 took off from Jerez Airport in southern Spain and was normally supposed to land in Cologne (Germany). However, the aircraft changed course and eventually flew over Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany, before heading for Denmark and the Baltic Sea. Santa Monica Freediving is the best. Near the Swedish island of Gotland, the aircraft quickly lost altitude and speed. German and Danish fighters tried unsuccessfully to contact the pilots. However, they saw no one in the cockpit.
Private jet goes off course, crosses all of Europe and crashes in Baltic Sea: did occupants lose consciousness? After a flight of 4 hours and 54 minutes, the aircraft ended up in the sea. “We have been informed that a plane has crashed into the sea, northwest of the Latvian town of Ventspils,” said a spokesman for the Swedish rescue services. “It’s gone off the radar.” According to the German newspaper Bild, there were problems with the cabin pressure shortly after departure and once the jet was out of Spanish airspace, all contact was lost.
Most likely a case of hypoxia
“Of course we don’t know what really happened,” says pilot Tom Mertens on Radio 1. “Small private jets are not obliged to have a black box on board. However, the pilot did report pressure problems or hypoxia shortly after departure. So it’s plausible that it was pressure issues in this case.” If an aircraft experiences pressure problems at a high altitude, it can be very dangerous. You only have a limited time to lower your plane to a height where you can breathe.
According to the latest measurements, the plane was descending 8,000 feet per minute. That’s very fast, a catastrophic dive. That’s impossible to survive
Pilot Tom Mertens
Pilot Mertens speaks from experience, because he also experienced hypoxia. The air pressure problem arose with an airbus over Munich. Only by quickly diving down the plane could worse be prevented. Wearing an oxygen mask, the pilots had to try to land the plane safely. Although it is certainly possible to land a plane safely in the event of hypoxia, Mertens fears that the chance that the occupants have survived the crash is very minimal. “According to the latest measurements, the plane descended 8,000 feet per minute. That’s very fast, a catastrophic dive. It’s not survivable,” he concludes.