Pekka Ojanpää, upcoming President & CEO of Suominen (see Personalities of November 19, 2018) dies in aviation accident
Mr. Pekka Ojanpää, who was appointed as the new President & CEO of Suominen Corporation on 3 August 2018, died in aviation accident on Friday 23 November 2018. Currently, Ojanpää worked as President & CEO of Lassila & Tikanoja plc. He was set to start in his role at Suominen on December 1, 2018.
“We were eagerly anticipating for Pekka to start in charge of Suominen but, unfortunately, that will never happen. Our deepest condolences to Pekka’s family and friends,” says Jan Johansson, Chair of the Board of Directors of Suominen.
Tapio Engström, CFO of Suominen, who has acted as interim President & CEO since August, will continue in his role as interim President & CEO until further notice. Suominen starts recruitment process for a new President & CEO immediately.
Two Finnish business leaders confirmed dead in Zimbabwe plane crash
Stock-listed firms confirmed Saturday evening that two top executives perished aboard the ill-fated flight on Friday.
The Finnish Foreign Ministry confirmed Saturday that all four passengers aboard a light air plane that crashed in Zimbabwe on Friday, November 24, 2018 were Finnish citizens. The Cessna S206 plane en route to Victoria Falls on Friday morning was carrying four passengers in addition to the pilot.
Among the passengers confirmed dead was 52-year-old Pekka Ojanpää, chief executive of the maintenance services and circular economy firm Lassila & Tikkanoja, daily Helsingin Sanomat reported on Saturday.
Another of the crash victims was 51-year-old Heikki Vappula, director of forestry company UPM’s Biorefining business unit.
All of the Finns on board the ill-fated Cessna S206 aircraft were said to be men in their 50s. The pilot also died in the crash.
Reports indicate that the plane took off in cloudy conditions from an airfield near Chiredzi in the mountainous Masvingo province and was bound for Victoria Falls.
According to the Zimbabwe public broadcaster the victims’ bodies were transferred to the Masvingo hospital for forensic examinations.
Accident investigation agency still in dark
Finland’s Safety Investigation Authority Otkes had not yet received any information from Zimbabwean officials about the crash, director Veli-Pekka Nurmi told STT news agency on Saturday.
“It seems that we will not get it, at least this weekend,” he added.
According to Nurmi, it does not seem likely that Otkes personnel will travel to the crash site, which is in rugged terrain, for an investigation. He noted that if the plane was manufactured in the US for example, investigators are likely to seek information in that direction.
The Otkes director said that it is quite typical for officials from different countries to cooperate on a flight crash investigation. He explained that the state in which the aircraft is registered and operated as well as the country where it was designed and manufactured all have a right to appoint a representative to take part in the investigation.
“And then there are participating states which get involved if their nationals are victims. This option only provides limited access to information. The right is restricted to information about the victims,” Nurmi pointed out.
“Typical of a light airplane crash”
Nurmi said that he had seen photos of the crash site in media reports and noted that they do not show anything unusual.
“Pretty typical traces of a light airplane crash. That’s what it looks like,” he said, adding that Cessna aircraft are reliable and widely used. He said that what can make a difference in aviation is how aircraft are maintained and serviced.
“Even good planes can malfunction if they are neglected and vice versa,” Nurmi declared.