The two aircraft were involved in a training flight when they collided and crashed.
Two Italian Air Force SIAI-Marchetti S.208M liaison and glider-towing aircraft of the 60° Stormo (Wing) suffered an in-flight collision this morning during a training mission over Guidonia airport, near Rome. The mishap, which happened at around 11:00LT, caused the two light aircraft (designated U-208M) to crash on the ground with one hitting a car parked in front of a house. The ItAF said in an official statement that both the pilots lost their lives, but no other casualties are reported on the ground.
#Incidente aereo: oggi vicino Guidonia (RM) 2 U-208 del 60° Stormo sono precipitati durante una missione addestrativa.
Per cause ancora non note sarebbero entrati in collisione precipitando.
I 2 piloti purtroppo sono deceduti nell’impatto.
Non ci sarebbero altre persone coinvolte pic.twitter.com/oyIYhUh3Qg
— Aeronautica Militare (@ItalianAirForce) March 7, 2023
At this time the causes of the collision are not known and an inquiry board is being established, with officials already on scene for the first site inspection. According to some reports, the two aircraft were flying as part of a four-ship formation, with the other two aircraft landing uneventfully. In the meanwhile, the Italian Ministry of Defense identified the two deceased pilots as Lieutenant Colonel Giuseppe Cipriano and Major Marco Meneghiello.
La #Difesa e il Min. @GuidoCrosetto esprimono i sentimenti del più profondo cordoglio e si stringono in un ideale abbraccio ai familiari del T.Col. Giuseppe Cipriano e Magg. Marco Meneghello #AeronauticaMilitare tragicamente scomparsi nell’incidente aereo avvenuto a #Guidonia. pic.twitter.com/N7Ab3y00ev
— Ministero Difesa (@MinisteroDifesa) March 7, 2023
Some media outlets are already speculating and reporting unverified news about the crash, with the risk of spreading fake info and also disrespecting the people affected by this tragedy.
Here is what we wrote in a similar situation, when media spread fake news following the crash of an Italian Eurofighter Typhoon in December 2022:
Reporting an aviation incident is never easy, especially when there are casualties. Friends and colleagues of the affected ones, along with people who are passionate about aviation understandably don’t like to read about incidents, even more so when the reporting is full of speculations (as well as technical errors). On the other hand, media have to report on all news, including, obviously, aviation accidents. Still, what happened on Dec. 13, 2022, is almost unbelievable: not only have websites with a questionable reputation reported the fake news, but also media outlets with a certain national relevance have posted stories without proper verification; articles that, for some hours, may have fuelled the hopes of family members and acquaintances.
A simple phone call to gather an official confirmation from official sources would have prevented the spreading of fake news and be much more respectful, not only to the pilot who lost his life in the incident and his family, but also to the readers. And this applies to all the aviation incidents, not only the one that cost the life of Capt. Altruda.
We will update this post as new details become available.