Pilot Dies in Leonardo M-346 Trainer Aircraft Crash

One of the two pilots onboard Italy’s Leonardo M-346 trainer jet died when their aircraft crashed in the country’s North on Wednesday.

In a statement, Leonardo said the incident took place at approximately 12:00 PM. The ill-fated M-346 aircraft took to the air from Leonardo’s Venegono Superiore site (Varese – Italy) at 11:00AM following technical checks prior to flight authorization.

“The flight plan included trials aimed at demonstrating specific capabilities which had already been tested during several flights already carried out in the past,” Leonardo said.

At 11:35AM, any contact with the aircraft was lost. The aircraft wreckage was later identified nearby Colico (Monte Legnone), between Como and Lecco in the Northern Italy.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The aircraft involved in the accident was an M-346 flown by a crew of two made of a Leonardo test pilot and an outsourced instructor pilot. Unfortunately, the instructor pilot, who belonged to an external company, died in the accident, the company said.