Italy: 21 years after the Milan-Linate Airport aircraft disaster
Today the National day not to forget the victims of the plane accidents
There was a thick fog on the morning of 8 October 2001 at the Milan-Linate airport. It was 8:10am. An ordinary day turned into a date to be circled in the calendar for years to come. Today we celebrate the anniversary as the National Day not to forget the victims of the plane accidents, established last year on the proposal of the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC).
But let's go back to that damn morning, a Monday. A McDonnell Douglas MD-87 aircraft (SE-DMA registration) of Scandinavian Airlines ran along runway R6 ready for take-off (flight SK686) to Copenhagen, Denmark. At the same time, a Cessna Citation CJ-2 aircraft (registration D-IEVX) takes the same runway, finding itself in the middle of the trajectory of the MD-87, which ran in the opposite direction at 270 kilometers per hour. The collision was inevitable.
The small aircraft was hitted. Killed the 4 occupants instantly. The seriously damaged Scandinavian Airlines plane continued its sad run off the runway, until it crashed into a warehouse at Milan-Linate airport. Inside there were dozens of workers intent on sorting baggage. The impact was tremendous. The tanks full of fuel of the MD-87 ignited a huge fire that caused the death of 4 airport workers, all 104 passengers in broth and 6 crewmembers.
The toll of the plane crash is 118 victims. The only survivor of the Linate disaster is Pasquale Padovano, a former baggage sorting officer: "What justice has done is not enough, I would like a parliamentary commission of inquiry to be set up. I got little from the state. The real help is me. arrived from Sea, the company that manages the airport", he said during the celebrations last year.
The Italian Flight Safety Agency (ANSV) published the final report on the accident on January 20, 2004. The document states that the "effective cause" of the disaster was the placing of the Cessna on runway R6 instead of R5, with the pilots of the small aircraft induced into error also by objective and serious deficiencies in the airport infrastructures and in the procedures used at the Milan-Linate airport: above all the absence of the ground radar and the worn and hardly visible signage.
For the disaster, 11 people were definitively convicted by the Court of Cassation, on July 7, 2006, with the accusation of complicity in culpable disaster and complicity in multiple manslaughter: officials of the Italian Flight Assistance Company (ENAV), the National Civil Aviation Authority (Enac) and the Airport Operational Company (Sea).
On March 24, 2002, the Beech Wood, made up of 118 trees of different varieties, was inaugurated inside the Forlanini Park overlooking the airport. They remind us of the number of victims of the accident: each tree a killed person. A way to cultivate memory and develop a sensitivity towards transport safety. The Linate disaster also served this purpose. Since then, important steps have been taken in the airport system and in the guidelines for flight management in Italy.
On the same topic see also the article published by AVIONEWS.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency