German businessman Rainer Schaller and his family mysteriously disappeared after a plane crashed and was found off the coast of Costa Rica on Saturday, October 22, 2022.
Local reports suggest that Schaller, the owner and CEO of the gym chain McFit, was one of the six people reported to be present on a private jet that wrecked midway while flying from Mexico to Limon in Costa Rica.
Other passengers who have gone missing include Schaller's partner, Christiane Schikorsky, their kids Aaron Schaller and Finja Sghikorsky, and a fitness trainer Marcus Kurreck. The plane's pilot, whose identity remains unknown, was a Swiss national.
All you need to know about the plane crash and German entrepreneur Rainer Schaller
Born on January 4, 1969, the German fitness mogul is the CEO and founder of RSG Group, which owns over 20 fitness and lifestyle chains of brands like John Reed, Gold's Gym, and McFit.
McFit is the largest gym chain in Germany with over a thousand members in 246 studios with locations including Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria, etc.
Rainer Schaller, 53, bought Gold's Gym in 2020 after the company filed for bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic. Directly and indirectly, the franchise operates in 48 countries and employs almost 41,000 people.
On October 22, the Costa Rican authorities found the remains of the wrecked private jet 17 miles away from Limon airport, in the ocean, along with two unidentified bodies and luggage.
According to AFP, Public Security Minister Jorge Torres said:
“We have recovered some pieces of the plane that were washed in by the tide, and two bodies."
The plane carrying the six passengers was a nine-seat Piaggio P180 Avanti private jet. The aircraft was reported missing after it lost communication with the control tower just three hours after departing from Palenque, Mexico, at around 6 pm.
In a statement to Deutsche Welle, Costa Rican Vice Minister of Public Security Martin Arias said:
"Twenty-eight kilometers from the Limón airport, in the Caribbean Sea, wreckage was located that apparently indicates that it is the aircraft. At the moment we have not located any bodies or people alive."
The aircraft was flying at a speed of 295mph and was approximately 230 feet above sea level when it lost communication with the control tower. It was scheduled to land at Juan Santamaria airport before 7 pm.
A search began immediately but was momentarily halted on Friday due to poor weather conditions. As of this article's writing, it is not known how the plane crashed.
In 2010, Rainer Schaller made headlines as an organizer of the Berlin Love Parade techno festival, where 21 people were killed and over 500 injured by a crowd at the event. Authorities blamed Schaller and his security team for failing to stop the crowd in a tunnel to the event grounds.