The accident happened yesterday afternoon and it is a miracle that my former partner, Jose Maria de Arcas and his 3 passengers, are all alive. When I was training to be a pilot I flew hundreds of hours in that Jetprop. I went as far as Cape Verde in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with it.
But my family did not like the Jetprop because it was much more uncomfortable to fly than the Citation Jet that we have had since 2000. So I ended up selling my 50% interest in it a few months ago. When I heard the plane had ended up in the sea near Ibiza I shivered.
What is amazing is that after the flameout, an extremely rare case in which a turbine turns off on its own, Jose Maria was able not only to make a successful water landing, but to evacuate the aircraft together with 3 passengers, all with their life jackets before the plane actually sunk. The vast majority of water landings, even if successful, leave no time for passengers to get out. And, on top of that, Jose Maria had time to notify the rescue helicopters while gliding and they were there a few minutes after the water landing.
I am not a believer, but Jose Maria is and I can now very well understand why. In any case there is one thing I do believe in, and that is Jose Maria´s supernatural survival skills.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars