UPDATE: Owner of Gold’s Gym chain and his family believed to have died in plane crash off Costa Rica

Owner of Gold's Gym chain and his family believed to have died in plane crash off Costa Rica

A German businessman who owns the Gold’s Gym and McFit chains is believed to have died along with his family when a light aircraft crashed off the coast of Costa Rica.


UPDATE: Sunday, October 23 at 03:35am

Officials in Costa Rica have all but confirmed that German business tycoon Rainer Schaller and his family were the passengers of a light aircraft that crashed into the Caribbean sea. It is believed that Schaller was accompanied on the doomed flight by his partner Christiane Schikorsky, their children, and a fitness instructor.

Sunday, October 23 at 02:25am

A light aircraft that crashed into the Caribbean sea off the coast of Costa Rica is thought to have killed six people. Among the dead is believed to be German businessman Rainer Schaller, the owner of the Gold’s Gym and McFit chains.

According to Jorge Torres, the Costa Rican security minister, the nine-seater aircraft was thought to have had five German passengers on board, along with a Swiss pilot, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.

“Around six in the afternoon we received an alert about a flight coming from Mexico to the Limon airport, carrying five German passengers,” Torres explained. A search operation was initiated but due to bad weather, it was temporarily suspended.

The twin-engine Italian-made Piaggio P180 Avanti turboprop aircraft had been reported missing on Friday, October 21 after it disappeared off the radar having taken off from Mexico. Coast Guard search teams reported the discovery of pieces of wreckage and personal belongings floating in the sea on Saturday 22.

There has been no confirmation by the authorities as to the exact identity of the passengers but it is believed that a person by the name of Rainer Schaller was listed on the plane’s flight plan. That name matches the German owner of the chain of international fitness and gym outlets. Another passenger was apparently listed with the same surname.

Costa Rica’s assistant security minister, Martin Arias, confirmed that: “Pieces have been found that indicate that this is the aircraft. Up to now, we have not found any bodies dead or alive”, he explained. The crash site is thought to be around 17 miles (28km) off the coast of Costa Rica’s Limon International airport


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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