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Mon, Sep 18, 2023

Frecce Tricolori Accident Puts Team At Center Of Tragedy... Again

Bird Strike Suspected In Downing Of Team Jet During Formation Fly-By

Tragedy has hit again... with the Italian Frecce Tricolori Flight Demonstration Team (officially known as the 313th Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico) at the center of it all. 

During a formation fly-by at the Turin Caselle Airport, this weekend, one aircraft was seen to drop out of a dual 'V' formation, followed scant seconds later by the pilot's ejection and the aircraft's impact near the end of the airshow runway.

The pilot has apparently survived but the jet's momentum on impact drew it through the perimeter of the airport, through fencing and into oncoming traffic that traversed the outskirts. The debris collided with at least one vehicle subjecting a family inside to significant burns and other undisclosed injuries... and causing the death of a five year-old girl -- named by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as Laura Origliasso. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini called the accident, "terrible tragedy." Defence Minister Guido Crosetto remarked that, "The ministry expresses its condolences to the family members."

The team was flying as part of an event marking 100 years of the Italian Air Force on Sunday -- though remaining festivities have now been cancelled. The aircraft involved was a team aircraft, Aermacchi MB-339-PAN, registered as MM54539. The surviving pilot was identified as Major Oscar Del Do’.

As many in the aviation world may recall, the Frecce Tricolori were involved in a massive airshow accident in 1988 that brought incredible scrutiny to the airshow community and military flight demonstrations, in particular. Three aircraft Frecce Tricolori aircraft collided in a crossover maneuver at Germany's Ramstein Air Base -- attended by upwards of 300,000 spectators -- with all three aircraft impacting the ground in a vector that put them into the crowd... killing all three pilots and 67 people on the ground. Hundreds more were injured.



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