• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Swiss WW2 biplane found in Lake Lucerne
Photo: Philo Nordlund/File

Swiss WW2 biplane found in Lake Lucerne

The Local · 3 Mar 2016, 11:03

Published: 03 Mar 2016 11:03 GMT+01:00

The K W C-35 reconnaissance biplane belonged to the Swiss Air Force and crashed into the lake in June 1941 during a combat exercise, according to Swiss broadcaster SRF.

Since then the plane – the last of its kind – was considered missing.

But the wreckage was finally found nearly 75 years later by a robot device 200 metres below the surface of Lake Lucerne near Gersau. 

The discovery follows a three-year search led by professional diver Roger Eichenberger, who became fascinated by the story behind the missing plane.

Speaking to SRF, Eichenberger said the plane crashed into the lake on June 20th 1941 after going into a tailspin.

Its two occupants ejected by parachute, but only one survived.

According to Eichenberger, the steamboat Schiller tried to come to the rescue of the two men but had to abort when its 1,000 passengers rushed to one side of the vessel, putting it at risk of capsizing.

The plane’s pilot drowned in the lake and his body was never found.

Built in the 1930s in Thun near Bern, the K W C-35 two-seater biplane had a wingspan of 13 metres and could fly at 335 kilometres per hour.

As yet, no decision on the future of the wreck has been taken.

Story continues below…

Its part-wooden frame could disintegrate on retrieval, Eichenberger told SRF.

 

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
 Federer to miss Rio, rest of season with injury
Federer is recovering from injury. Photo: AFP

Roger Federer will miss the remainder of the season, including next month's Olympic Games in Rio.

Take care around fireworks, Swiss told
Fireworks injure hundreds every year. Photo: myswitzerland.com

Fireworks caused 250 accidents last year in Switzerland – half of them on August 1st.

Missing man found dead in Obwalden forest
The man's body was found close to the wreck of his car. Photo: Obwalden police

A man reported missing in early July has been found dead close to the wreck of his car in central Switzerland.

Confirmed cases of Zika virus soar in Switzerland
The virus is on the march in Switzerland too. Photo: AFP

Switzerland has registered 28 cases of the birth-defect causing Zika virus since the start of the year.

Flooding leads to chaos in central Switzerland
The storm left a trail of devastation in Pfäffikon. Photo: Schwyz cantonal police

The fire brigade in the canton of Schwyz had a busy night dealing with flooding emergencies.

  Solar plane completes epic round-the-world trip
The journey ended in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in the UAE, completing its epic round-the-world journey.

Switzerland mulls alarm text message service
A mobile text warning system could be introduced: Photo: Katwarn.de

A text message alarm system could be used to warn people in the event of a terror attack.

Swiss solar plane nears end of epic trip
Solar Impulse is close to its goal. Photo: Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse 2 is approaching the end of its epic bid to become the first sun-powered plane to circle the globe without fuel.

Man arrested in forest murder case
A walker found the woman's body in the forest. File photo: Patrick Nouhailler

Police arrest an illegal immigrant over the killing of a woman in the canton of Bern last week.

Terror fears trigger Swiss run on guns
More people want to own a gun. Photo: kecko.jpg

Applications for gun licences soar in Switzerland amid growing insecurity.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Grand Tours Project
Features
Why you should get on your bike in Switzerland
Photo: The Local
Society
Swiss village tells landlords: don’t rent homes to refugees
Photo: Rolf Krahl/Christophe G
International
Survey: world willing to pay more for ‘Swissness’
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: The Local
International
Chaos in Como after Swiss send back refugees
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP/The Local
Lifestyle
Nine top celebrity hotspots in Switzerland
Photo: Graubunden police
National
World-class Swiss climber Norbert Joos dies on ‘home mountain’
Photo: Kathleen Waters
Society
Italian ‘ignored’ by Swiss schools in language wars
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: Whitepod
Features
The quirkiest places to stay in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
International
Migrant busted trying to sneak into Switzerland in a suitcase
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read
National
Basel suffers wettest six months for 150 years
Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
Technology
Why Swiss science could suffer badly from Brexit fallout
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Robert Valencia
International
Swiss couple in Nicaragua told to give back adopted daughter
Photo: Zurich cantonal police
National
Police hunt prisoner on the run in Zurich murder case
Photo: Christoph G
Politics
Switzerland sets out law on expelling foreign criminals
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Bernacqua
Lifestyle
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Basel Justice and Security Dept
Lifestyle
New signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Daniel Orth
Education
Muslim school kids denied passport for refusing swimming lessons
Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP
Politics
Swiss-EU talks ‘must’ resume this summer, says President
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
File photo: Kochtopf
National
Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches
File photo: Jen/Flickr
Society
Geneva could get 'café fellatio' by end of year
Features
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
4,654
jobs available