Walliser (66) controlled the McFit founder’s death plane – the family mourns
“It hurts badly”
A Swiss was in the cockpit when McFit millionaire Rainer Schaller’s private jet crashed off Costa Rica. Now it’s clear: the pilot comes from Valais.
An experienced pilot from Valais sat in the cockpit of McFit founder Rainer Schaller’s private plane.
The shocking news arrived in Valais around 10 a.m. on Saturday. A phone call reported the plane crash by McFit founder Rainer Schaller (53) off Costa Rica. A Valais (66) sat in the cockpit. “It hurts brutally,” says the pilot’s son-in-law to “La Nouvelliste”.
“He was an excellent pilot, undoubtedly passionate and extra careful,” he adds. Pierre-Olivier Favre, a Valais pilot and close friend, remembers: “It was he who taught me to fly at the Sion Aero Club in the 1980s. Everywhere he went he made a good impression.”
The problem of distance
There were six people on board the machine at the time of the accident on Friday evening: McFit founder Schaller, his partner, the two children, another German and the Swiss pilot. Two bodies have been discovered so far. There is still no trace of the Valais. Around 60 emergency services are on the lookout. The family wants clarity – also for administrative reasons.
‘Without a body there is no death certificate. The distance brings with it some uncertainties about the course of the funeral service, »the son-in-law regrets. But he assures that “the funeral service will definitely take place”.
investigations are ongoing
The plane lost contact with the control center in Costa Rica around 6 p.m. on Friday. Investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing. Because the private plane had neither a flight recorder nor a device to record the communication, this process turned out to be extremely difficult.
According to several reports, McFit founder Schaller was using Whatsapp shortly before the crash. Curious: Mobile phones normally have no reception at the cruising altitude. A possible explanation could be that his phone was not in flight mode and had reception when the crash occurred. (nab)