On 16 March 2022, an Alenia Aermacchi M346T, with callsign Prova3, of the Turkmenistan Air Force took off from Varese-Venegono Airport, and sadly crashed into Monte Legnone, near Lake Como, Lecco, Pagnona, at a height of 2,600 metres. Both pilots ejected, the Italian instructor pilot was seriously injured, the British pilot died.
The aircraft took off from Leonardo’s Venegono site at 11:00 hours local time. At 11:35, all contact with the aircraft was lost.
This M346 was one of a number of M346s destined for Turkmenistan, which were already delivered last year but came back to Italy for additional training and modifications last November.
At the time of the accident it was being flown by Leonardo, the manufacturer of the aircraft (originally Aermacchi, but that was changed after Leonardo acquired the company). It was carrying its original test serial CSX55268 while in Italy for modifications, as its Turkmen serial 06 blue was taped over after arrival at Varese last year. Without an Italian serial they are not allowed to be flown in Italy.
Picture: Django Bruinink