Air crashes are not good advertisements for a country and when a military plane crashes, it is a sad reflection on the Air Force of that country. The Italian Air Force is red-faced after a Eurofighter belonging to its elite squadron crashed into the sea before hundreds of spectators during an Air Show. The pilot, a 35-year old, has been identified as Capt. Gabriele Orlandi, according to an article yesterday filed by The Aviationist. He crashed into the sea during the final acrobatic loop when he failed to pull out from the dive. The body was recovered almost immediately after the crash.

This is a great setback for the IAF.

Air crash

The airshow was being watched by thousands of people who had assembled on the coast at Terracina. They were horror-struck on Sunday when the jet, after completing a loop crashed into the sea emitting a huge plume of smoke and killing the pilot instantaneously.

The Eurofighter is the mainstay of many Airforces of the EU and is used by the French, Belgium, Italian and German Air forces. It is inherently a safe plane and very few crashes have been reported. The plane has not found a market outside the EU. The world market is largely dominated by both the Russian and US planes.

As is the usual practice an investigation was ordered into the crash. The death of the pilot had its effect on the airshow and the rest of the Terracina Air Show was cancelled.

The inquiry will focus on pilot error or an engine malfunction as one of the causes of the accident. Both are serious matters and will need rectification. This is the second Eurofighter to crash recently. The other accident occurred in Yemen just over two weeks ago according to The Aviationist online news.


The plane that crashed was an Italian Air Force Eurofighter F-2000A Typhoon, and investigators will have to salvage the plane to complete the inquiry.

Air crashes and loss of specialist aircrew during peacetime are cause for worry and show that there is a chink in training and procedures in the field of aviation, where an accident can lead to unforgiving results.

Last word

The Italian Air force needs to do some introspection as its record during the last 75-80 years is nothing that can add glory to its performance.

The IAF was just an appendage to the Luftwaffe during World War II and made no impact during the air battles with the Allies. It also failed to provide adequate air cover to Rommel's Afrika Corps in the North African campaign resulting in the complete route of the Afrika Corps and loss of North Africa to Montgomery.