Vintage plane's crash in Switzerland kills all 20 people on board

Vintage plane's crash in Switzerland kills all 20 people on board

Although there were eyewitnesses to the crash, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes says that the investigation into what happened will take time.

Among those killed were 17 people from Switzerland and three people from an Austrian family, including a couple and their son. Their names were not released.

Swiss reports said the passengers were returning from Locarno, a holiday spot in southern Switzerland on Lake Maggiore, where they had arrived early Friday.

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

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

He and senior police official Andreas Tobler said the vintage plane lacked "black boxes", the crash-resistant cockpit voice and data recorders that more modern aircraft have.

The cause of crash is now being investigated by the Federal Prosecutor's Office, in partnership with local Swiss authorities.

There also are typically few radar recordings in mountainous areas such as the one where the crash site is located, he added.

He said officials have essentially ruled out a collision with another aircraft or hitting an obstacle such as a wire.

The cause of the crash remains uncertain. Image Getty Images
The cause of the crash remains uncertain. Image Getty Images

Just hours before the Ju-52 crash, a family of four was killed when their small plane went down in the Alps, but it was located further west. The heat makes air thinner, increasing the burden on the aircraft.

Knecht also dismissed the idea that the plane's age was necessarily a problem.

Junkers JU-52 planes were manufactured between the 1930s and 1950s.

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

The company's flight operations were suspended, it said. Its pilots are ex-military and professional pilots, all volunteers.

But Seventeen passengers, two pilots, and a flight attendant lost their lives in the accident, said police on August 5, according to Swiss news website Blick.

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. Waldmeier said the pilots fly by sight along pre-planned routes. We can not guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

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

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