Cause of plane crash in N. Sweden still unclear: report

An investigation into a plane crash that killed all nine people aboard in northern Sweden in July has yielded inconclusive results.

The light plane was carrying sport parachuters when it crashed into a small island just 2 km south of the end of the runway at Umea airport.

On Wednesday, the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority held a press conference to present the preliminary results of their investigation.

The investigation has shown that it was the aircraft’s third flight for the day, that there is no indication the plane was worn out in any way, and that neither the cloudy weather nor slight overloading on board the plane would have rendered it unflyable.

“There were no signs of fatigue on the plane, nothing to indicate it was worn,” said Peter Swaffer of the Swedish Accident Investigation Agency.

What is clear is that the jumpers’ door was open when the plane fell, and that shortly after it began to crash, changing course and speed, the aircraft quickly broke apart, piece by piece.

Seven km from the crash site, a surveillance camera was able to record sound from the aircraft while it was in flight. With the help of that recording, the Accident Investigation Agency has analyzed the sound from the engine, concluding that the weight of the plane was slightly above normal parameters.

“At take-off, the plane was a little too heavy, and back-heavy. This doesn’t make it unflyable, but it does make things difficult,” said Swaffer.

Whether or not this was the cause of the crash, however, Swaffer couldn’t confirm.

“It is difficult to name the cause itself, there are many underlying factors, but that is one factor that doesn’t make flying easier. But it shouldn’t be discounted,” Swaffer said.