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Plane crashes in the Milanese area: what happened

Plane crashes in the Milanese area: what happened

A few minutes after 1 pm on Sunday 3 October, a twelve-seater plane took off from Linate and headed for Olbia crashed into a building on the border between Milan and San Donato Milanese.

The eight people on board died: the pilot, the co-pilot and the six passengers, five adults and a child. A culpable disaster investigation has been opened.

We retrace the crucial minutes, from take-off to the impact with the construction site of a bus station, in the light of the data in our possession so far.

Plane crashed in the Milan area: the last moments

The Pilatus Pc-12 registered in Romania, with eight people on board including pilot and co-pilot, moved from Linate airport at 12.52 on Sunday 3 October.

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Once it reached runway 36, the monoplane built in 2015 and arrived in Italy from Romania on 30 September took off. It was precisely 13:04:08, and there was a fine rain.

At 13:07:40 the monoplane is proceeding at a speed of 293 kilometers per hour and an altitude of 1,631 meters. From here on, something starts to malfunction.

Two seconds pass, the speed rises to 303 kilometers per hour but the altitude drops to 1,615 meters. Two seconds later, another 52 meters of decrease in altitude. The plane continues to crash: the last signal recorded is 13:07:56, just before the crash into a building, a bus station under construction.

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What could have happened

The National Flight Safety Agency will investigate the incidentwhich is gathering all the material necessary for the investigation.

The most likely hypothesis is that of a single engine failure: this would explain not only the crash, but also the sudden increase in speed, perhaps a maneuver by the pilot who would have tried to return to the airport as soon as possible.

Some sources reveal that as soon as the Pilatus PC-12 deviated from the predetermined route, the men of the Linate Area Control Center asked the pilot for an explanation. And to the specific question of whether he ran into turbulence, the answer given was a simple “No”.

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The plane crashed a minute later, without sending any warning messages. The crash into the building (where fortunately there were no workers at work) immediately caused a fire.

The Pilatus Pc-12

The Pilatus Pc-12 is a single engine built in Switzerland, produced in more than 1,700 units.

It is a robust aircraft, capable of landing and taking off from even very small runways, without needing to be paved. Its only engine is a PT6 turboprop, considered among the best on the market. Its cost is around 4 million euros.

The victims

The impact of the small plane crashed on a construction site on the border between Milan and San Donato Milanese caused the death of all eight people on board: pilot, co-pilot and six passengers.

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At the helm was the Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu, 69 years old. Among the passengers, his wife, aged sixty-five, and his son of thirty. The others were members of an Italian-French family, including a one-year-old child.

Once they landed in Olbia, Sardinia, they should all have gone to spend a holiday together in the Petrescu villa in Santa Teresa di Gallura.

Meanwhile, the Milan public prosecutor has opened an investigation for culpable disaster.

The yard

The crashed plane crashed into a building that allegedly housed a bus station for medium and long-distance buses. We are near the San Donato terminus of the yellow metro line.

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The construction site was opened in 2018, and only thanks to the fact that the collision took place on Sunday no one, neither workers nor technicians, was working.

This is confirmed by Michele Pugliese, construction manager: “There was no one inside but tomorrow morning (ie Monday) the workers would have been inside. At another time the impact could cause more deaths, especially because once completed there would be the ticket office, the drivers’ guest quarters, the station offices ”.

Deputy Prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano makes it known that the black box of the single-engine engine has been found. And he adds: “At 50 meters there is the subway stop. Speaking of luck when there is a disaster frankly seems a bit excessive, but let’s say that there were points where, perhaps, it could have had more dramatic consequences “.

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The road that commemorates the Linate disaster

The tragedy of the crashed plane also involved, as we have just said, a two-storey building in via 8 ottobre 2001 (a bitter irony of fate: it is the date that celebrates the Linate disaster, which caused 118 victims).

Meanwhile, there are various voices from witnesses who say they have seen the Pilatus PC-12 lose altitude. Some argue that the engine was already on fire before it collided with the building.