AgustaWestland AW609 test flight – fatal accident

AgustaWestland AW609 test flight – fatal accident

30-Oct-2015 Source: are sad to report the fatal test flight accident in Italy of AgustaWestland AW609 prototype N609AG, killing test pilots Pietro Venanzi and Herb Moran.  The pair are being praised in the Italian media for bringing the aircraft down in fields away from a town when it was widely reported as already being on fire in the air.

AgustaWestland put out the following brief statement “AgustaWestland confirms the loss of one prototype AW609 tiltrotor and the tragic loss of two pilots. The Company’s deepest sympathies are with the families.

Pietro Venanzi was one of three AgustaWestland test pilots to receive the prestigious Iven C. Kincheloe award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and were recognized at the Society’s annual gala.  The Kincheloe Award recognizes outstanding professional accomplishment in the conduct of flight-testing by a test pilot member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and is the most visible recognition of the Society’s contribution to the aviation community.  The award was announced by AgustaWestland in October 2014, and was given to recognize the achievements of three test pilots for the successful power-off conversions and autorotation trials that were completed between March and April of 2014.  The tests were conducted as part of FAA civil certification activities and covered the full wind-milling and autorotation envelopes, which earlier in 2014 marked another major achievement for the development of the world’s first civil tiltrotor.  Mr Venanzi’s profile on LinkedIn shows he had been a test pilot with AgustaWestland since 1999, and for the 16 years prior to that had been with the Italian Air Force on both fixed and rotary wing, latterly as a test pilot.

Herb Moran joined AgustaWestland in 2011 after 11 years at Bell Helicopter, according to his LinkedIn profile, and had worked on both the UH-1Y and AH-1Z upgrades as well as the BA609 (as it was when the aircraft was a joint venture between the two manufacturers) from 2005.  Prior to joining Bell in 2000, Mr Moran had served 13 years with the US Marine Corps.

We will put details on our accident page here.  Screenshot from FlightRadar24


Jeremy Parkin –

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