«I don’t know how it happened, but the bird strike you almost never see it, our work is done exclusively to prevent this type of accident.” Three days after the accident of the Frecce Tricolori in the Turin area, while the investigations are still ongoing, while the causes are not yet defined, the falconer of the Caselle airport Giovanni Paone explains to Corriere della Sera what are the prevention measures to prevent flocks of birds from creating problems for planes during take-off or landing phases. That of the bird strike is, at the moment, the most plausible hypothesis: the birds could have been sucked into the engine – the only one, on those models supplied to the aerobatic teams which are about 50 years old – subsequently causing the failure and the crash of the soil. «Sagat – the company that manages Turin airport – remains at the forefront in terms of security, we can say what we want, speculate and try to understand. In Turin they have always worked to the maximum, we are talking about one of the safest airports in the world”, assures Paone, his voice broken but firmly. Second the Republic, around 3pm, less than two hours before the tragedy in which a 5-year-old girl who was with her family in a passing car racing along the track died, the falconer was sent home. At that time the situation around the runway was declared risk-free: no report from the runway to the airport safety office. In the absence of danger signals and anomalies detected by radar, the green light for take-off arrived, but almost two hours later. Those who work at the airport whispered: “The flocks, in Caselle, in the meadows that run alongside the runway, are always present. If they are at the end of the runway, on the ground, it is impossible to see them.” As the experts, responsible for deterrence work with falcons around the runway, explain, “the presence of the predator discourages that of the prey, causing it to move away”, but the birds then return, they do not abandon the area. The data on bird strikes verified in Turin say that in 2017, 17 impacts were recorded on over 42 thousand movements, 13 in 2020 and 10 in 2021.
Frecce Tricolori, the falconer from Caselle sent home two hours before the accident: «The unforeseeable happened»