Italy investigates if acrobatic plane struck birds before it crashed, killing a child on the ground
The debris of a burnt car is seen at left as firefighters seal off the area where an aircraft of the Italian acrobatic air team the Frecce Tricolori crashed during a practice run outside the northern city of Turin, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. The plane or parts of the plane reportedly struck a car carrying a family, killing a 5-year-old girl. A 9-year-old and the parents were being treated for burns, according to an Italian news agency. (Matteo Secci/LaPresse via AP)

MILAN (AP) — The Italian Air Force said it was investigating whether an aircraft of its acrobatic team struck birds before it crashed near an airport, killing a five-year-old girl on the ground.

The child and her family were travelling in a car near the perimetre of the airport near the northern city of Turin when the aircraft crashed Saturday afternoon, bursting into flames and smashing through the airport fence.

The girl’s mother and older brother remained hospitalised for treatment of burns while the father was released Sunday, hospital officials said.

Video of the crash shows nine aircraft in two tight V-formations, before one of the aircraft drops below the others and crashes, sending a fireball into the air. In the video, the pilot —identified as Maj. Oscar Del Do — can be seen ejecting with a parachute shortly before impact inside a fence airfield. He suffered burns.

The Air Force said the reason for the crash was under investigation, but said one hypothesis was that the aircraft suffered a bird strike during takeoff. Italian prosecutors were also investigating.

The Frecce Tricolori squadron, Italy’s premier team of acrobatic pilots, was preparing for an air show scheduled for Sunday as part of events marking the 100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force.

They typically perform dramatic fly-bys at events of national importance, leaving streaks of red, green and white smoke, the colours of the Italian flag. They perform intricate acrobatics during air shows.

In 1988, three aircraft of the Frecce Tricolori collided and crashed to the ground during an air show at Ramstein Air Base in Germany attended by around 300,000 people. The three pilots and 67 people on the ground died. Hundreds more suffered injuries.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?