Civil aviation accident investigation office chief Ivars Gaveika told LETA Monday the cause of the crash may have been engine failure or pilot error due to inexperience, however the investigation of the wreckage is still incomplete.
According to State Police Kurzeme regional department spokesperson Signe Šteinberga, a criminal investigation has been launched into the tragic accident, however authorities have ruled out the possibility that foul play was involved.
The single-seater aircraft was helmed by the deceased pilot, businessman Jūlijs Kellers, who was board chairman of the fuel trading company Draudzība. He had a valid pilot’s license and was a flying enthusiast.
As state civil aviation agency director Māris Gorodcovs told Latvian independent television LNT news, the craft was an experimental category plane built by a private individual in Estonia and later sold to Kellers. It was equipped with a Subaru automotive engine, had flown a total of 166 hours, with the engine having only been opearated for 54 hours and the propeller for 24 hours. The last inspection of the plane was approved on July 29 of this year.
A witness said that the plane was attempting to swiftly gain altitude when it suddenly peaked and plunged to the ground, reported LTV news program Panorāma Sunday.