Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Family of four killed in small plane crash in Swiss forest

Family of four killed in small plane crash in Swiss forest

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

Police said Sunday they have now determined that all 20 people on board the plane, including its three crew members, died.

The Swiss daily Blick said the planes can accommodate 17 passengers and three crew.

A witness told Reuters the plane wreckage was in a basin.

Officials said Sunday they weren't aware of any distress call made from the plane, adding that the investigation into the crash is expected to be "relatively complex" - though there's no indication of foul play.

The mountainous area in southeastern Switzerland is popular with hikers and skiers and includes a glacier.

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JU-52 HB-HOT aircraft does not have a crash-resistant cockpit voice and data recorders because it is an older model.

The plane appeared to have hit the ground almost-vertically and at high speed, said Daniel Knecht of the Swiss transportation safety investigation board.

Officials can essentially rule out a collision with another aircraft or an obstacle such as a wire, Knecht said.

JU-Air says it runs a small fleet of four Junker planes, all built in 1939, which are for hire.

Operator JU-Air said it was saddened by the news and it had set up a helpline for relatives. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all of them volunteers.

Based out of Duebendorf in canton Zurich, JU-AIR offers sightseeing and adventure flights around the Alps. It has suspended all flights until further notice.

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