“Mammaiut” is the historical motto of the Soccorso Aereo (SAR, Search And Rescue) of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Air Force, ItAF). It is shouted by the personnel of the 15° Stormo during official ceremonies in place of the “Ghere Ghe Ghez” shouted by the other units of the ItAF. It was also shouted to honour the lost ones during the funerals of the crew members of the HH-3F “Pelikan” that crashed in France on Oct. 23 during a flight from Dijon to Florennes where the helicopter had to attend the TLP course. “Mammaiut” means “Mum, help me”, an SOS request that sounds perfectly suitable with the current Italian SAR situation. After loosing an helicopter and 8 experienced crew members, the ItAF has decided to ground all its fleet of 30 remaining HH-3Fs until the root cause of the crash is found. The aircraft, performing the daily SAR Service on an H24 basis from Pratica di Mare, Rimini, Brindisi and Trapani airbases, will be “partially” replaced the AB.212AMI-SAR serving with the Squadriglie of Istrana, Linate and Decimomannu. Dealing with the reasons of the tragic accident, I believe that the aircraft crashed into the ground at very high speed and (almost) disintegrated. Most probably, the aircraft suffered a catastrophic collapse and smashed into the ground without giving the crew enough time to react. I believe that they had no warning sign inside the cockpit and for this reason they did not radio any message to the other aircraft that was leading the formation. The pilots had no time to react, nor they did try to slow down the speed to solve the problem nor to land. Everything happened very fast and the aircraft fell at high speed in less than a second. I think only a structural damage, a collapse of the rotor or a fracture of a blade could have such a devastating effect.
When, last year, I visited the USS Nimitz and had the opportunity to take the following picture (Part 1 and Part 2) I didn’t think that compressor stalls during “cat shots” (catapult lauches) were frequent […]
On Feb. 11, an F-16 of the 37° Stormo of the Italian Air Force, crashed into the sea between Levanzo and Marettimo, not far from Trapani Birgi airbase. The aircraft had been involved in a […]
After publishing the article about the preserved aircraft found at Istrana airbase by Matteo Marianeschi (http://cencio4.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/images-from-istrana-airbase-home-of-the-51%c2%b0-stormo/), I was contacted by Simone Bovi who told me he had taken some picture of another interesting collection of […]