Finland: Skydivers Lose lives in Glider School Crash

Sunday, April 20, 2014
By George Hatcher


Pirkanmaalta students at the Jämijärvi glider school in Satakunta lost their lives when the plane they were about to sky dive in crashed. The plane may have suffered engine problems. One witness may have seen a wing detach but this has not been confirmed. The debris field is a large area, and the badly burned parts will be a challenge to investigators.

One witness, Soili Kollani said (translated to English) “I looked at the sky and saw the machine. It was pretty high. Then it just came down. It burned on the way down, and rotated.”

Several helicopters were on the scene for search and rescue.

A search for survivors near Jämijärven Airport found three alive: the pilot and two passengers. The first person out of the plane was wearing a helmet cam, which may have captured the accident and may or may not have useful data.

The police currently have custody of the cam. Eight bodies were found inside the wreckage, all with parachutes. The three survivors were found outside the plane, though the fall was described by witnesses as “a rag doll.”

The turboprop-branded Comp Air 8 has a jet-powered propeller. The Comp Air 8 is a kit plane manufactured by Comp Air Inc in Titusville Florida.

The contact page for witnesses of the accident or relatives of the victims is here:

http://www.poliisi.fi/newslist/pbic/2014042002helsinki1

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