No grounding or flight restrictions have been introduced by the Italian army aviation command to its remaining fleet of NH Industries NH90 tactical transport helicopters after a 1 June fatal crash during an air show at Lake Bracciano, near Rome.
While recovering from a dive after completing a fieseler manoeuvre, the third production NH90 TTH helicopter struck the lake surface with the lower fuselage and tail rotor, rolling on itself before sinking in 5-5.5m (16.3-18ft) of water.
Despite prompt rescue, aircraft commander Capt Filippo Fornassi later died due to heavy injuries. The co-pilot, Capt Fabio Manzella, is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The flight engineer, warrant officer Cosimo Palladino, escaped shocked but unhurt.
© Esercito Italiano
Both pilots had logged around 4,000 flying hours on different helicopter types. The commander was a flight instructor and one of the first to perform displays on the NH90.
The voice and flight data recorder has been recovered and the wreckage is to be recovered from the lake bottom. Investigations have been set up by the Italian army and the civil authorities, according to Italian army's head of aviation, Maj Gen Enzo Stefanini.
The Italian army has taken delivery of five NH90 TTHs since December 2007. The fleet had logged around 350 flying hours by the time of the crash, with a high availability rate.
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Source: Flight International