‘Ghost Plane’ pilot named German businessman after private jet crashed in Baltic Sea

A German businessman who ran one of Cologne’s oldest carnival clubs has been named as the pilot of the “ghost plane” that crashed into the Baltic Sea yesterday.

Karl-Peter Griesemann, 72, the head of the private air rescue company Quick Air, was flying from Jerez in Spain to Cologne when he was diverted to the Baltic Sea and whirled into the water near Latvia, according to the picture.

Also on board the Austrian-registered Cessna 551 were his wife Juliane, daughter Lisa, 26, who is a trained pilot, and their boyfriend Paul.

Aviation experts said the drop in pressure could have caused the pilot and passengers to pass out.

NATO jets tried to intercept the plane, which stopped responding to air traffic controllers’ calls after problems in the cabin were reported.

Karl-Peter Griesemann, 72, pictured with his wife Juliane, has been named as the pilot of the plane that crashed near Latvia yesterday

Karl-Peter Griesemann, 72, pictured with his wife Juliane, has been named as the pilot of the plane that crashed near Latvia yesterday

Also on board the Austrian-registered Cessna 551 were daughter Lisa, 26, a trained pilot and enthusiastic rider, and her boyfriend Paul (pictured together).

Also on board the Austrian-registered Cessna 551 were daughter Lisa, 26, a trained pilot and enthusiastic rider, and her boyfriend Paul (pictured together).

The plane made two turns, in Paris and Cologne, before flying straight over the Baltic Sea, passing the Swedish island of Gotland

The plane made two turns, in Paris and Cologne, before flying straight over the Baltic Sea, passing the Swedish island of Gotland

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The Swedish Ambulance Service said they had reported that no one could be seen in the Cessna’s cockpit. In the picture the trajectory of the plane before the crash in the Baltic Sea

German and Danish warplanes were sent up to watch the plane as it flew blind over northern Europe on Sunday afternoon but could not spot anyone on board, possibly because they had passed out.

The family was in southern Spain where they have a lavish holiday home and they returned to their main home in Cologne.

Mr. Griesmann was also head of the Griesmann Group based in Cologne, specializing in construction projects and large industrial plants, and President of the annual Cologne Carnival, one of the largest in Germany.

“I can confirm that it was our owner Karl-Peter Griesemann’s private jet,” a spokesman for Quick Air said.

The family was in southern Spain where they have a lavish holiday home and they returned to their main home in Cologne

The family was in southern Spain where they have a lavish holiday home and they returned to their main home in Cologne

The Austrian-registered Cessna 551 flew from Jerez in southern Spain. file image

The Austrian-registered Cessna 551 flew from Jerez in southern Spain. file image

Planes from several countries and a passenger ferry headed for the crash site on Sunday evening to help with the rescue operation.

A wreckage, a concentrated patch of debris and an oil-like layer were sighted near the crash site, Latvian search and rescue chief Peteris Subbota told Latvian TV, adding that no passengers were found.

The jet “was flying between Spain and Cologne, but when it changed course, air traffic controllers could not establish contact,” Latvia’s civil aviation authority said in a statement.

After taking off from Jerez, southern Spain, just before 3 p.m., the plane made two turns, in Paris and Cologne, before flying directly over the Baltic Sea, passing the Swedish island of Gotland.

Mr. Griesmann was president of the annual Cologne carnival, one of the largest in Germany

Mr. Griesmann was president of the annual Cologne carnival, one of the largest in Germany

Shortly after 7:30 p.m., the flight tracker recorded that it was rapidly losing speed and altitude.

“We have learned that the plane crashed (in the ocean) northwest of the city of Ventspils in Latvia,” said a spokesman for the Swedish Ambulance Service.

“It’s gone off the radar.”

Authorities said the plane “ran out of fuel” which caused it to crash into the Baltic Sea.

The Swedish Maritime Administration dispatched lifeboats, planes and a helicopter to the crash site, with the country’s coastguard confirming the wreckage has been found.

NATO fighter jets took off from Estonia to follow the plane, a Lithuanian Air Force spokesman said. File image of a US fighter jet

NATO fighter jets took off from Estonia to follow the plane, a Lithuanian Air Force spokesman said. File image of a US fighter jet

Mr Antonsson said his chance of finding survivors of the crash was “minimal”.

Latvian and Swedish rescue and coastguard vessels patrolled the crash site and a nearby passenger ferry was alerted to help with the effort.

A Lithuanian Air Force helicopter was also dispatched to search and rescue at the request of neighboring Latvia, a Lithuanian Air Force spokesman said.

They added that the fighter jets were from the NATO Baltic Air Police mission based at Amari airfield in Estonia.

According to NATO, the mission at the air force base currently consists of four Eurofighter jets from the German Air Force. The announcer did not say how many jets there were or comment further.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11180987/Ghost-plane-pilot-named-German-businessman-private-jet-crashed-Baltic-Sea.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 ‘Ghost Plane’ pilot named German businessman after private jet crashed in Baltic Sea

Andrew Kugle

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