cavalese cable car disaster

The aircraft was flying at a speed of 540 miles per hour (870 km/h) and at an altitude of between 260 and 330 feet (80 and 100 m). Two U.S. Navy EA-6B Prowlers in May 2004. In the report, the pilots are said to be usually well-behaved and sane, without any previous case of drug abuse or psychological stress. The appeal of Schweitzer was denied in November 2007. Nevertheless, on January 24, they had received a formal warning for flying too low after a training take-off. Cavalese cable-car disaster: It's 20 years since a US aircraft killed 20 people in the Dolomites and still no one accepts responsibility. Pilot Killed 20 on Ski Lift", "Italian Government Calls American Pilots Criminal", Judgement of the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, Jury Sentences Marine in Ski-Lift Incident to Dismissal, "Cermis, patto segreto dietro il processo", "United States v. Ashby, 08-0770/MC (C.A.A.F. When reaching approximatel… The investigation team suggested that disciplinary measures against the flight crew and commanding officers should be taken, that the U.S. had to bear the full blame for what happened, and that victims' relatives were entitled to receive a monetary settlement.[15]. They appear uninjured?

Forty-three people died, including 15 children between the ages of 7 and 15 and the 18-year-old cable car attendant.

Why so low? Initially, all four men on the plane were charged, but only the pilot, Captain Richard J. Ashby, and his navigator, Captain Joseph Schweitzer, actually faced trial, charged with twenty counts of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. By amazing coincidence, and probably unknown to any of the four men on board that Prowler, Cavalese, in the heart of the Dolomites, is already known to locals, historians, and newspaper reporters alike as the site of the most deadly cable car derailment since Andrew Hallidie’s 1873 invention of this mode of transport. The radar altimeter was checked and reported in normal condition. On February 2, Schweitzer planned the flight route for a low-altitude training mission using obsolete documents.

Schweitzer made a plea agreement that came to full light after the military jury deliberated upon sentencing. 2009)", "United States v. Schweitzer, 08-0746/MC (C.A.A.F. [9], In their appeal, Ashby and Schweitzer asked for a re-examination of their trial and for clemency, challenging their dismissals in order to be eligible for military benefits. And should any student of disaster be complacent enough to assume “Strage del Cermis” (“the Massacre at Cermis”) could not happen again, he or she has only to recall the sinking of the Costa Concordia, on 13 January 2012. [2][6][7], The inquest found that during high winds, the stationary and the moving steel cables crossed and one severed the other. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Later they were found guilty of obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for having destroyed a videotape recorded from the plane, and were dismissed from the Marine Corps. It was proved that the squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel Muegge, and his assistants, Captains Roys, Recce, Watton, and Caramanian, did not alert the navigator about the new flight altitude limitations, maybe because the proposed flight had a lower ceiling of 1,000 feet (300 m), enough to be safe with any cable in the area. For the 1998 crash, see. The aircraft was flying at a speed of 540 miles per hour (870 km/h)[citation needed] and at an altitude of between 260 and 330 feet (80 and 100 m) in a narrow valley between the mountains. In December 1999, the Italian Parliament approved a monetary compensation plan for the families ($1.9 million per victim). It was proved that the squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel Muegge, and his assistants, Captains Roys, Recce, Watton, and Caramanian, did not alert the navigator about the new flight altitude limitations, maybe because the proposed flight had a lower ceiling of 1,000 feet (300 m), enough to be safe with any cable in the area. And despite Schweitzer's plea bargain, the Prowler’s navigator stands outside court and merely says: “My immediate plans are basically to wake up tomorrow morning and not have to deal with this [matter] for the first time in 14 months.”. It is freefall that presents the greatest danger. Their responsibility is clear and direct.”. They claimed that during the first trial the prosecution and the defense secretly agreed to drop the involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide charges, but to keep the obstruction of justice charge, in order to satisfy the requests coming from Italy.

US marine Brig Gen Guy Vanderlinden, deputy commander of Nato's strike and support in southern Europe, is not keen to apportion any blame. Therefore, in May 1999, there is a second court martial. On the morning of the disaster, the plane underwent maintenance due to a fault in the "G meter", which measures g-forces, and was replaced. The appeal of Schweitzer was denied in November 2007. The restrictions in effect at the time required a minimum flying height of 2,000 feet (610 m); Ashby said he thought they were at 1,000 feet (305 m). [8] Four lift officials were jailed for their part in the disaster. All the squadron's pilots received a copy of the directive.

[14], The Marine aircrew was determined to be flying too low and too fast, putting themselves and others at risk. In March 1999, the jury acquitted Ashby, outraging the Italian public. The cable was cut at a height of 360 feet (110 m). In the fall, the three-ton overhead carriage assembly fell on top of the car, crushing it. When reaching approximately 46°17′01″N 11°28′02″E / 46.283733°N 11.467237°E / 46.283733; 11.467237Coordinates: 46°17′01″N 11°28′02″E / 46.283733°N 11.467237°E / 46.283733; 11.467237, the aircraft's right wing struck the cables from underneath.

Just one person, a 14-year old Milanese schoolgirl, survived that catastrophe.

[5], President Bill Clinton offered an official apology[6] and promised monetary compensation. High above his air-base in Aviano, in northern Italy, 30-year old Captain Richard Ashby revs a dated ‘EA-4B Prowler’ aircraft on a final training exercise before his promotion to fighter pilot. Weather conditions are good. [2] The only survivor was a 14-year-old Milanese girl, Alessandra Piovesana, who was on a school trip and was with two friends when the crash happened. 2009)", "Investigators Blame Marines for Cable Car Accident", "Il rapporto finale sul Cermis [The final report on the Cermis]", Pakistan International Airlines Flight 544, Accidents and incidents involving United States Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, Aviation accidents and incidents in Italy, United States Marine Corps in the 20th century, 20 dead (1 cable car operator, 19 passengers). What happens, then, when an aircraft in close proximity to a cable car causes one or other or both to go into freefall?

Public relations is a deft – maybe devious – art. [2], On February 3, 1998, an EA-6B Prowler, BuNo (bureau number) 163045, 'CY-02', callsign Easy 01, an electronic warfare aircraft belonging to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2) of the United States Marine Corps, was on a low-altitude training mission. In Italy, where the event received the name of Strage del Cermis, the low-level flight was strongly criticized and some politicians called for a re-evaluation of rules or a complete ban of such exercises, though low-level flight was already illegal.[4]. On the contrary, there will be an almighty cover-up. When reaching approximately 46°17′01″N 11°28′02″E / 46.283733°N 11.467237°E / 46.283733; 11.467237Coordinates: 46°17′01″N 11°28′02″E / 46.283733°N 11.467237°E / 46.283733; 11.467237, the aircraft's right wing struck the cables from underneath. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. [11], The Marine aircrew was determined to be flying too low and too fast, putting themselves and others at risk. Very little low cloud. Is this a belated sop to troublesome Italians? After the disaster, Ashby reported the altimeter did not alert, but this is disputed and highly unlikely. The restrictions in effect at the time required a minimum flying height of 2,000 feet (610 m); Ashby said he thought they were at 1,000 feet (305 m). Four minutes later, the cable car set out from atop Mount Cermis for the six-minute trip down to Cavalese. At the time of the crash in the late afternoon it had 44 occupants – justified by the operator as many of them being children.

For the 1998 crash, see. [2][6][7], The inquest found that during high winds, the stationary and the moving steel cables crossed and one severed the other. [11], Ashby was qualified for low-altitude flight, but his last training mission of that kind was flown over six months before, on July 3. [14], Ashby was qualified for low-altitude flights and prohibited diving below cables at all times. US generals and flight crew soon adopt the vocabulary of minimisation.

The report included an interview with the commander of 31st Fighter Wing, who stated that Muegge confessed to him that he and his crew, save for Ashby, were aware of the current flight limitations.

Only president Bill Clinton deviates from the “Please Sir, it wasn’t me Sir!” script by sending his deepest condolences to both families bereaved and the tourists’ host nation. The Cavalese cable car disaster of 1976 is the deadliest cable car crash in history. What the British call a cable car – aerial tramways’ in other countries – is a very safe form of transport: technology practised, perfected, nowhere better than in the southern Alps of Ticino, Bolzano, and Alto Adige. The Cavalese cable car disaster of 1998 (also called the Strage del Cermis ("Massacre of Cermis") occurred on February 3, 1998, near the Italian town of Cavalese, a ski resort in the Dolomites some 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Trento. Nevertheless, on January 24, they had received a formal warning for flying too low after a training take-off. [14], The Marine aircrew was determined to be flying too low and too fast, putting themselves and others at risk.

The two men were court-martialed a second time for obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, because they had destroyed a videotape[6] recorded from the plane on the day of the accident. He was released after four and a half months for good behavior.

Most of the victims were West Germans from Hamburg. The startled crew additionally learn that, although “only” three Italians have died (eight German nationals, five Belgians, two Poles, one Austrian, and one Dutch are also perishing), Italian politicians, broadcasters, journalists, citizens, are already livid upon hearing the breaking news. Italian prosecutors wanted the four Marines to stand trial in Italy, but an Italian court recognized that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaties gave jurisdiction to U.S. military courts. The letter was later found, unopened, in the cockpit of the EA-6B along with maps marking the cable car ropes.

"[8], Ashby and Schweitzer were found guilty in May 1999; both were dismissed from the service and Ashby received a six-month prison term. On This Day — The Cavalese Cable Car Disaster (February 3 1998) [2020] Posted on February 3, 2020 by L “Many believe one of the reasons the Italian judges went after the CIA RDI [Rendition, Detention, Interrogation] and [former CIA Officer] Sabrina De Sousa in the Abu Omar case was the USMC and USG accountability failures and arrogance.” Mark Fallon — International Security … On This Day — The Cavalese Cable Car Disaster (February 3 1998) [2019] Posted on February 3, 2019 by L “Many believe one of the reasons the Italian judges went after the CIA RDI [Rendition, Detention, Interrogation] and [former CIA Officer] Sabrina De Sousa in the Abu Omar case was the USMC and USG accountability failures and arrogance.” Mark Fallon — International Security …

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