On August 4, 2018, a Junker Ju52, registered HB-HOT, of the company JU-Air crashed against a mountain of the Swiss Alps. The plane was transporting 11 men and 9 women, none survived.

“The aircraft dropped like a stone at a relatively high speed”, said Daniel Knecht of the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board. He dismissed any hypothesis of a collision with an obstacle or another aircraft.

The investigation might take a while before it can identify the cause of the accident, as the plane did not have any data recorder. The aircraft, constructed in 1939, underwent its last maintenance check in July 2018. It was at its maximum cargo capacity when it crashed. According to JU-Air CEO Kurt Waldmeier, the two pilots were very experienced.

JU-Air was created 36 years ago by former pilots of the Swiss Air Force. It currently operates two Ju 52s and one CASA 352 (a Spanish manufactured version of the Ju 52). The Junker 52 is a three engines medium transport plane that was used both as a military and civilian aircraft throughout its long history. Following the crash, only seven airworthy Ju52s remain.

It is a dark series for Swiss aviation. Earlier in the same day of August 4, 2018, a small aircraft heading to France crashed in Hergiswil forest, in the Swiss Canton of Nidwald. The passengers, a couple and their two children, died. On July 27, 2018, another touristic plane crashed atop of a glacier in the canton of Valais, killing four people.