It’s possible that a private business plane carrying four persons crashed into the Baltic Sea after running out of fuel.
As the Cessna Citation 551 flew off the coast of Sweden, fighter jets were launched to intercept it, but officials claimed they were unable to identify anyone operating the controls of the aircraft.
Before live tracking with the aircraft was lost at around 7:44 p.m. local time, data from FlightRadar24 showed the plane circling above the Baltic Sea not far from the Latvian port city of Ventspils.
The plane’s height rapidly decreased and it began to drift from side to side minutes before the data link was broken, indicating that the aircraft may have run out of fuel.
On Sunday at 2:56 p.m., the airplane (OE-FGR) with an Austrian registration took off from Jerez, Spain for Cologne.
Until the plane flew exactly over the West German city and then continued in a straight line north-easterly across Germany and toward the Baltic Sea, the flight path showed the pilot was totally in control of the aircraft.
Fighter jets were called in from Germany and Denmark after air traffic control was unable to reach the pilot.
A rescue helicopter has been sent to the disaster site, according to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. It’s thought that there were four passengers in the airplane.
The Maritime and Air Rescue Center of Sweden announced that it was sent a number of helicopters and planes to the crash site.
According to reports quoted by the German tabloid Bild, the pilot had previously complained about pressure issues on the 43-year-old aircraft. A man, a woman, their daughter, and the pilot were also on the aircraft.
The newspaper claims air traffic controllers first lost contact with the pilot before the aircraft even left Spanish air space.