ALERT: Mail plane crashes between Olso and Tromsø; pilots presumed dead; Svalbard flight cancelled today; unknown if local mail aboard


A postal flight from Oslo to Tromsø crashed sometime near midnight Friday (Jan. 8) just across the Swedish border near Akkajaure on the way from Oslo to Tromso.

The 42-year-old pilot from Spain and 34-year-old co-pilot from France are missing and presumed dead.

The mail flight to Svalbard was cancelled Friday.

“Those who were flying to Svalbard were colleagues of those that crashed,” John Eckhoff, a spokesperson for Norway Post, told Svalbardposten. He said he believes the plane that crashed was scheduled to fly to Svalbard today.


A CRJ-200 jet operated by West Air in Sweden is the same type of aircraft that crashed at about midnight Friday near Tromsø during a mail flight from Oslo.

The CRJ-200 jet operated by the Swedish company West Air was carrying about 4.5 tons of mail destined for northern Norway. Eckhoff stated it’s unknown how much of that mail may have been destined for Svalbard.

“From what I can see, it has been planned that way,” he wrote in an e-mail. “There are two flights that make an exchange on this route.”

The plane sent out a mayday message at 11:31 p.m., one hour and 23 minutes after departure from the airport in Oslo. Contact was then cut off.

It appears the plane crashed virtually straight into the ground, with fight radar showing it dropping from 33,000 feet to 11,725 feet in about a minute – air traffic show that the plane dropped quickly, Anders Lennholm of the Swedish Maritime Administration told Dagbladet. The newspaper reported “rescue personnel assume that there is no possibility that the two pilots onboard…have survived.”

The area is difficult to access and temperatures at the time were about minus 30 degrees Celsius. Rescuers had still not reached the scene as of midday Friday.

The captain had 2,050 hours of experience with that specific aircraft and a total of 3,173 hours of flight time. The co-pilot had 900 hours on with the aircraft and a total of 3,050 flight hours.

West Air officials said they do not believe any of the cargo was responsible for the crash, due to safe security precautions. The company has grounded its other CJR-200 planes until further notice.