Flightradar24 map of Cessna Citation II/SP flight track leading up to crash
A Cessna Citation II/SP overshot its destination of Köln/Bonn Airport and plunged into the Baltic Sea on September 4. (Photo: Flightradar24)

Citation Crashes after Pilot Becomes Nonresponsive

What we know about a recent accident that killed everyone on board.

A privately operated, Austria-registered Cessna Citation II/SP departed Jerez-La Parra Airport in Spain, continued past its planned destination of Köln/Bonn [Germany] Airport, and plunged into the Baltic Sea on September 4, nearly five hours after taking off, killing the pilot and all three passengers.

While over northeastern France and tracking a course to Bonn, the pilot reported to air traffic control (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, 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, and it was descending 8,000 feet per minute. The impact site is about four miles northwest of the Latvian town of Ventspils. Crews of search-and-rescue aircraft spotted the wreckage on September 5. The pilot of the aircraft was the owner of Quick Air, an air charter company based in Cologne, Germany.