Searchers have found debris and human remains at the assumed crash site of a Cessna Citation II SP off the coast of Latvia. Lt. Cmdr. Peteris Subbota, head of the Latvian military’s Marine Search and Rescue Coordination Centre, told The Associated Press, “[We found] remains of human bodies we believe to be associated with the crash.” Since the disappearance of the twinjet on Monday, vessels of the Latvian coast guard as well as underwater robots have been searching the Baltic Sea about 25 miles northwest of the Latvian port city of Ventspils. A prominent German businessman and his family members are believed to be among the four assumed dead in the crash.
The Austrian-registered (OE-FGR) business jet departed from Jerez-LaParra Airport in Spain at 12:56 UTC on Monday, headed for Cologne, Germany, about a 2-hour, 30-minute flight. Upon entering German airspace at 36,000 feet near Cologne and apparently beginning to maneuver for landing, the pilot of the single-pilot-capable Citation stopped responding to air traffic control. The aircraft maintained its altitude and continued on a northeasterly heading until it apparently ran out of fuel and descended into the Baltic Sea at a final rate of 8,000 feet per minute.
German and Danish jet fighters intercepted the Citation as it passed through their airspace. Johan Wahlstrom of the Swedish Maritime Administration said the military pilots were unable to make contact. “They could not see anyone in the cockpit.”
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