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Citation Crashes after Pilot Becomes Nonresponsive

A privately-operated, Austrian-registered Cessna Citation II/SP departed Jerez-La Parra Airport, Spain, continued past its planned destination of Köln/Bonn (Germany) Airport, and plunged into the Baltic Sea on Sunday afternoon, nearly five hours after taking off. The pilot and three passengers aboard are presumed dead.

While over Northeastern France at FL360 and tracking a course to Bonn, the pilot reported to ATC that he was having issues with the aircraft’s pressurization system. When ATC could not reestablish radio contact with the pilot and the aircraft continued beyond Bonn still at FL360, a Luftwaffe fighter jet was scrambled to intercept the Citation. Reportedly, the fighter pilot could not observe anyone in the business jet's cockpit.

About 30 minutes before crashing into the sea, the Citation began to lose altitude and entered a left-hand spiral. The final altitude of the aircraft as recorded by Flightradar24 tracking service was 2,100 feet, descending at 8,000 fpm. The impact site is about four miles northwest of the Latvian town of Ventspils. Yesterday, crews of search-and-rescue aircraft spotted the wreckage. The pilot of the aircraft was the owner of Quick Air, an air charter company based in Cologne.

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