Italian Eurofighter Typhoon Crashes During Terracina Airshow Killing Test Pilot

An Italian Typhoon has crashed into the sea while performing its display during an airshow in Italy.

On Sunday Sept. 24, 2017, an Italian Air Force Eurofighter F-2000A Typhoon (most probably MM7278/RS-23) belonging to the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (Test Wing) has crashed into the sea at Terracina, 76 kilometres south of Rome.

Based on the several videos that have already emerged on social media, the pilot Capt. Gabriele Orlandi, for unknown reasons, was unable to /did not recover the aircraft at the end of a looping and didn’t attempt to eject from the jet.

Here below you can find a few clips that have been posted on Youtube so far. Many more are being uploaded on Twitter and Instagram as well:

The causes of the crash are under investigation, the Italian Air Force said in a press statement.

The Typhoon of the RSV most probably involved in the crash MM7278/RS-23 taking off from Grosseto during the Marina di Grosseto airshow rehearsals, on Jun. 24, 2017.

The following composite image was created using Photoshop and images posted on

Composite image created with Photoshop with the photos by Simone Grossi published on

This is the second deadly crash of a Typhoon in little less than two weeks: a RSAF Typhoon combat aircraft involved in a mission against Houthi fighters over Yemen crashed into a mountain in Al Wade’a district on Sept. 13, 2017.

Top image credit: screenshots from Michele F. video


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.


  1. Air shows over the sea are common in Italy. Pilots do that several times per year, touring coastal tourist areas all over the country. Capt. Orlandi was an experienced pilot who used to be part of these shows many times, alongside the national patrol (Frecce Tricolori) for the enjoyment of the tourists. I can’t believe it happened, it’s really sad. I went to see him flying various times, the last one this summer, I loved his magnificent exhibitions. Condolences to his family, fiancee, friends and colleagues.

    • There’s been a few near-misses, sorry that this wasn’t another one. Please note that the video below is very slowed-down:

  2. he is going fast but it looks to me as if he’s not pulling as hard as he could, the aoa doesn’t look that high, maybe I’m totally wrong but could there be some restrictions on the G load that played a role?

  3. Flying over water and desert is very dangerous, it is extremely difficult at best to eyeball altitude. Many airplanes have flown into the water thinking they had a margin of hundreds of feet. It’s the cause of many a hard-landing on dirt strips. And there’s a reason that in parachute survival training, they tell you not to release your Koch fittings until your feet hit the water.

    • “And there’s a reason that in parachute survival training, they tell you not to release your Koch fittings until your feet hit the water.”

      Thank God someone invented the seawater activated parachute release. And of course the FLU-8.

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