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BREAKING: Italian Air Force Test Pilot Perishes In Mishap At Terracina Air Show

F-2000A Typhoon Jet Failed To Recover From Dive At End Of Looping Maneuver

Photograph Courtesy Eurofighter by Niccoli Grosseto

On Sunday September 24th 2017, 36 year-old Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI- Italian Air Force) Captain and test pilot Gabriele Orlandi was flying a demonstration routine in a Eurofighter F-2000A Typhoon fighter while participating in the Terracina Airshow located about 30 miles southeast of Rome on the Italian west coast. The pilot was reportedly flying F-2000A serial number MM7278 / AMI code RS-23 and assigned to the AMI’s Reparto Sperimentale Volo (RSV or Test Wing).

Photograph From Wikipedia (Public Domain)

Orlandi’s demonstration flight appeared to spectators to be entirely routine until the jet reached the bottom of an elongated loop maneuver and was unable to recover from its dive at the bottom of the maneuver. As a result, the Typhoon crashed into the sea and disintegrated approximately 400 yards offshore at 1700 local time. The pilot was killed on impact, failing to even attempt to eject from the aircraft prior to making catastrophic contact with the water. The pilot’s body was recovered at sea 90 minutes after the mishap.

Photograph Courtesy Eurofighter

The show’s next and final scheduled performance, by Italy’s Frecce Tricolore precision flight demonstration team, was canceled. No cause has yet been determined for the crash, which now is under investigation. AMI officials have scores of video clips shot by spectators at the event to review. Out of respect for Orlandi and his family did not include links to any of the crash video clips, but they’re easy enough to find.

Photograph From Wikipedia (Public Domain)
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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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