Premier I Crashes in Snow at Samedan

 - December 21, 2010, 11:09 AM

A German-registered Hawker Beechcraft Premier I crashed on Sunday during approach to Samedan Airport in Switzerland, killing the 48-year-old captain and the 29-year-old first officer. No one else was aboard, as the twinjet was to pick up passengers at the resort. The aircraft hit the ground north of the threshold of Runway 21 after the pilots had chosen to go around after a first missed approach during snowfall. Samedan is a VFR-only airport, and horizontal visibility was satisfactory despite the snow, according to the tower. In February 2009 a Falcon 10 veered off the centerline after touchdown at Samedan and crashed into snow piled up along the runway, killing both pilots. With its single runway at an altitude of 5,600 feet, no landing aids and an approach path angled between high mountains, Samedan is a demanding airport and pilots are required to take an online familiarization briefing and test before landing there. Following the two recent accidents, the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation has announced it will seek ways to improve safety at Samedan.