The cursed flight
The Swiss Luigi Fasulo, a pilot originally from Campania born in 1935, took off from Locarno airport with the single-engined Rockwell Commander 112TC at 5.15 pm. The flight plan included landing at Linate to get fuel and then returning to Switzerland with landing in Lugano at 6.15pm. For about twenty minutes, communications with the control towers show that the flight is proceeding smoothly. Around 5.30 pm the problems begin at the gates of Linate.
Communications are confused and, in the answers he offers to Linate controllers, Fasulo reveals his inexperience in gliding in an airport like that of Milan with complex and articulated procedures. The pilot actually misses the landing strip and the controllers call him to order until he communicates that he cannot open the landing gear. At that point Fasulo probably panics, puts on autopilot and tries to fix the fault. The plane comes out of the radar, then it is seen by the control tower as it seems to take the right direction for the ring indicated for the landing but the aircraft passes further by breaking towards the Central Station and the Pirellone, with the pilot now confused and perhaps dazzled by the sun. Before losing altitude, the Commander’s landing gear is first extracted and then retracted, perhaps with the intention of going back without landing. Then in front of the Pirelli skyscraper a last attempt to turn, then the crash at 5.45 pm, the screams, panic, blood and death. Having discarded the initial hypotheses of suicide and terrorist act, the investigations, technical reports and testimonies decreed that the accident was caused by the pilot’s inability to manage a complex landing in the presence of technical difficulties
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