Head of Italian Army Aviation killed in training crash

Head of Italian Army Aviation killed in training crash

26-Jan-2014 Source: HeliHub.com

The Italian military has reported the untimely death of Major General Feltrinelli Calligaris, head of Italy’s Army aviation unit. The General was the instructor in an Agusta-Bell JetRanger which crashed on Mount Martha, near the Viterbo military base. Student pilot Lieutenant Paolo Tozzi was also killed in the accident.

Major General Calligaris was appointed to the role on 1st March 2013, succeeding Gen. Enzo Stefanini who moved to become Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army.

Calligaris jointed the Army in 1974, attending the 156th Course of the Military Academy at Modena. He joined the aviation division in 1985 and had flown over 2000 hours in the 29 years since. His leadership roles included that of deputy commander of the Italian Joint Task Force in Iraq, and coordinator of ISF operations in Afghanistan. He also led the work in Chad when Italy assisted during the civil uprising there, and the country’s response in Haiti following the earthquake. He coordinated the evacuation of Italian nationals from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya during the Arab Spring.

The Major General’s awards are numerous, including Gold, Silver and Bronze Crosses of Merit of the Army and several international honors including the Medal “Meritorious Service Medal” of the United States of America and the medal “Military Cooperation Consolidation Medal” of the Russian Federation.

Italian electric power company Enel reported a powerline down in the area, and it is likely that this was contributory to the JetRanger coming down.

Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com

Italian military press photo from event when Major General Calligaris accompanied Gen. Claudio Graziano, Chief of Staff of the Italian Army, at an event in July 2013

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