An Israeli couple was killed on Tuesday in a light aircraft crash in Greece. The Foreign Ministry is arranging for the return of the bodies to Israel.
Along with two other people who flew in a different plane, the couple took off in a private plane from the island of Kos and was scheduled to land in Corfu.
Inclement weather forced both planes to make an unscheduled landing on a different island before continuing in the direction of Corfu. Ultimately, just one of the planes made it back to Athens.
The Israelis were reported missing on Tuesday night after a private single-engine plane went down near the Greek island of Zakynthos, Israel Radio reported.
The Foreign Ministry confirmed that they have not made contact with the two Israelis, whose light aircraft was en route to Corfu.
Greek authorities informed the Israeli Foreign Ministry of the missing aircraft after it had disappeared from radar screens. In an effort to locate the couple, authorities attempted to home in on their cellular telephone signals, but to no avail.
A helicopter dispatched to the region located the wreckage in an open field. Forensic crews were then summoned to the scene to recover the bodies of the two Israelis, whose remains were found alongside the crash site.
Greek authorities sent a fighter jet and helicopter to the site where the plane disappeared, approximately 40 kilometers northwest of Zakynthos.
Eli Sneh, an Israeli diplomat posted in Athens, was en route to the crash site to aid in transporting the bodies to Israel. The couple's son departed Israel and was also on the way to the site, accompanied by an aviation expert.
Initial conclusions of the investigation point to a combination of human error and difficult weather conditions that caused the accident. Haaretz has learned that the tail of the plane was the only part that was found nearly whole on a hill in Zakynthos.
The aircraft is a U.S.-made CIRRUS 22, which is considered one of the more reliable and heavily equipped models available on the market today. One of its key safety features is a ballistic parachute system that is located behind the cockpit.
The mechanism is comprised of a rocket that, when activated by the pilot, fires and opens a parachute outside of the plane, enabling it to safely drop to the surface. The plane also features a state-of-the-art navigation system.
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