Alenia Aermacchi says one of its test pilots is in a good condition after being forced to eject from a prototype M-346 advanced jet trainer on 11 May.
In a statement, the company says the twin-engined aircraft - which it identifies as CMX617 - encountered a technical problem around 20min after taking off from Turin-Caselle airport. "The aircraft crashed in Val Bormida, between the provinces of Cuneo and Savona, without damage to people or properties," after its lone pilot ejected successfully, it adds.
Further details about the crash have yet to be disclosed, but Alenia Aermacchi says it has formed an internal technical commission to investigate the factors leading to the accident.
The incident represents the second loss of an M-346 prototype, with another example having crashed off the coast of Dubai following an air show appearance in 2011. Both crew members survived after ejecting from their Honeywell F124-200-powered aircraft.
Alenia Aermacchi has so far delivered two T-346A trainers to the Italian air force for test and evaluation purposees, with the service to receive four more under a launch order for the type. Export successes have also already been scored, with the Republic of Singapore Air Force and Israeli air force to receive 12 and 30 examples, respectively.