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Crash of Australian-made plane kills nine skydivers

July 17, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The crash of an Australian-made skydiving plane in Sweden at the weekend brings to 20 the number of people who been killed in the past few weeks on skydiving flights – not on the parachute jumps themselves, but in crashes of the flights that take them up to jumping altitude.

Swedish airport authority Swedavia said nine people died in the crash of the plane, a GippsAero GA8 Airvan, an Australian-made single-engine aircraft popular with parachutists. It’s the worst aviation accident in Sweden in 30 years.

Police said all the victims were Swedish, with one person holding dual citizenship.

Swedish media quoted witnesses reporting that some of the parachutists were seen trying to jump off the plane just before the crash, the Guardian reported.

A witness told Swedish broadcaster SVT she heard a loud noise from the sky, then she saw the plane going straight down and crashing onto an island.

King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf expressed his sorrow in a statement.

“In view of today’s tragic air crash outside Umea, which took nine people’s lives, I want to convey my condolences,” he said on Facebook. “My family and I send our thoughts to their families and relatives.”

The GippsAero GA8 Airvan “can seat eight, including the pilot,” Wikipedia says. Information on file with Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) says the GA8 Airvan has eight seats, arranged in four rows. The fact that nine people were aboard may not be relevant, as the total weight of the laden aircraft is what matters. An official investigation has been launched.

Last month, a twin-engined skydiving plane crashed on Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii, killing all 11 aboard.

Hawaii News Now reported that the aircraft was a Beechcraft 65 King Air operated by the Oahu Parachute Center. It plunged to the ground shortly after takeoff and burst into flames.

The crash in Hawaii happened a week after two pilots died when a skydiving plane collided midair with another aircraft near the New Zealand North Island town of Masterton.

The New Zealand skydiving plane, operated by Skydive Wellington, was returning after dropping off four parachutists who had successfully completed their jumps.

Written by Peter Needham

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