A plane with German passengers crashed over the Baltic Sea. The four people are the family of Cologne entrepreneur and carnival enthusiast Peter Griesemann, who flew the plane. What friends are now saying about the tragic crash.

In addition to carnival, he had a great passion: aviation. Peter Griesemann, 72, honorary president of the traditional Cologne corps “Blaue Funken” and successful entrepreneur, often raved about flying in his circle of friends. As often as he could, the patriarch of the Griesemann Group got behind the wheel of a private plane and jetted to his holiday home in southern Spain. “Tragically, his passion has apparently become his undoing, I’m shocked,” says Hans Kölschbach, President of the Old Town Guard to FOCUS Online.

Griesemann left his holiday home in southern Spain with his wife Juliane, their daughter Lisa and their partner to fly back to Cologne. For reasons that have not yet been fully clarified, the Cessna crashed into the Baltic Sea near Latvia. Armin Hoffmann, spokesman for the “Blue Sparks”, confirmed the crash. “We are all very affected, but even if the probability that the inmates have survived is low, we want to wait for the result of the search operation by the responsible rescue services.”

The two sons Björn and Georg Griesemann reacted very calmly. There is still hope, even if it is very thin, explained Hoffmann. If the dire fears come true, “the Cologne carnival will lose one of its biggest sponsors in Peter Griesemann”.

The businessman has been involved in the Cologne carnival for decades. The “Blue Sparks” are one of the nine traditional Cologne corps that celebrate the fifth season of the year anew with 100 other carnival societies under the umbrella of the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee.

“Peter has moved a lot in the city for decades, as an entrepreneur and as a carnival participant,” Christoph Kuckelkorn told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. “He has led the Blaue Funken into a new era as President for many years and has stood by me and the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee as Chairman of the Supervisory Board for the past five years. Peter not only had expertise and entrepreneurial spirit, he also had a lot of heart for the people and the Fastelovend.” Griesemann never gave up, especially during the Corona crisis, in which the carnival societies lost income from the meetings. “If he said something, that counted,” said another friend.

Acquaintances describe him as extremely obliging, always turned towards people. “He and his wife were always very friendly,” remembers Altstädter boss Kölschbach. “Even though we were competitors, we got on well together, so the chemistry was right. I have often listened to his advice. I’ll probably miss him now,” sighs Kölschbach.

Besides flying and carnival, family was everything for Peter Griesemann. His son Björn, who was promoted to carnival prince in 2014, manages the industrial plant construction of the group of companies and succeeded his father as chairman of the “Blaue Funken”.

Together with him, Peter Grieseman pushed ahead with the expansion of the Funken district in the medieval Sachsenturm in the southern part of Cologne. Son Georg runs the family’s Quick Air charter company at Cologne/Bonn Airport. Just a year ago, the daughter and her partner bought a riding stable in Wachtberg near Bonn.

After a serious illness, Peter Griesemann has recently been feeling well again. Delighted, he announced to acquaintances: “I can now fly again”. A momentous sentence.

The question of the causes of the accident remains. After taking off from Jerez in southern Spain on Sunday, the Cessna reported a drop in pressure, after which contact was lost. The machine came off the Cologne/Bonn target and approached the airspace over the Baltic Sea. At around 7:45 p.m., the private jet went into a spin off the Latvian coast and crashed.