Eleven skydivers managed to exit a Pacific Aerospace P-750 utility aircraft before it crashed in Switzerland, with the loss of its pilot.

The aircraft (HB-TCP) had been operating in the vicinity of Grenchen airport, about 25km north of Bern, on 18 February.

It appears to have entered a rapid descent from around 13,000ft. A distress call was transmitted, according to air-ground transmissions captured by LiveATC, but the nature of the emergency is unclear.

HB-TCP-c-Skydive Grenchen

Source: Skydive Grenchen

Skydive Grenchen took delivery of the P-750 in 2012

Skydive Grenchen, the parachuting club involved in the event, states that all 11 jumpers on board “were able to leave the aircraft” and land safely.

But it confirms that the pilot did not survive when the P-750 struck terrain.

Solothurn canton police states that it was informed of the crash, which occurred in a field, shortly after 14:00.

It adds that the Swiss investigation authority SUST is probing the cause of the accident.

HB-TCP crash-c-Solothurn canton police

Source: Solothurn canton police

All 11 skydivers left the aircraft before the accident but the pilot did not survive

Skydive Grenchen says it will support the inquiry in order to understand the circumstances.

Meteorological data for Grenchen airport around the time of the crash indicates benign weather conditions with good visibility and scattered cloud.

According to Cirium fleets data the P-750 involved, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engine, was delivered to the skydiving club in February 2012.