CRJ-200PF carrying mail crashes in Northern Sweden

A CRJ-200 freighter, similar to the West Atlantic jet that crashed on Jan. 7.

A CRJ-200 freighter, similar to the West Atlantic jet that crashed on Jan. 7.

A Bombardier CRJ-200PF, operated by West Atlantic Sweden, crashed in a remote location in the Swedish mountains of Gällivare on Thursday evening. At the time of this report, both crew members on board are presumed dead.

The freighter aircraft, registered as SE-DUX, was carrying mail for Norwegian postal service Posten Norge, enroute to Tromsö from Oslo, when the pilot sent a brief mayday distress call at 23:31 on Jan. 7. Flightradar reported that the aircraft fell quickly, from an altitude of 33,000 feet to 11,725 feet in just 60 seconds. A Norwegian F16 was the first to spot the wreckage on the ground between the northwestern edge of Lake Akkajaure in Sweden and the Norwegian border.

“It was a powerful crash, right into the ground,” Daniel Lindblad, spokesman for the Swedish rescue service, told news bureau NTB. A Scandinavian news source said the pilot, from Spain, was 42 and the co-pilot, from France, was 34. Between the two men, they had 6,000 hours of flight experience.

West Atlantic CEO Gustaf Thureborn told reporters, “What should not happen and may not happen has happened.”

Thureborn ordered all CRJ-200 aircraft grounded as a precaution. The aircraft that crashed was built in 1993 and had flown 38,601 hours. It had been operated since 2007 by West Atlantic, based in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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