US F-16 performs emergency landing in Rome Fiumicino airport

On Dec. 16, 2009, a US F-16CG (88-0444/AV) belonging to the 510 FS of the 31 FW c/s “Buzzard 54” performed an emergency landing in Rome Fiumicino airport as a consequence of an engine failure experienced while the aircraft was flying within a formation of 4 F-16s abeam Italy’s capital town, above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Another aircraft (90-0709/AV) escorted Buzzard 54 to the successful landing on runway 34L, performed a low passage and then proceeding to the South of the field before landing on runway 34R, while the remaining two F-16s returned to Aviano airbase.
Most probably, since the F-16 decided to divert to Fiumicino airport and not to Pratica di Mare, a military airport located just a few miles to the South of Fiumicino, the pilot found easier to spot the large civilian airport and more safe to land on its long runway parallel to the coastline than using the smaller Pratica’s runway.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.