A Pilatus PC-12 crashed shortly after takeoff in Milan, Italy, on Sunday, hitting the roof of a vacant building and bursting into flames. All eight people aboard the plane died in the crash. The pilot, 30, was a Romanian billionaire and was the only pilot onboard. He had flown the plane to Italy from Bucharest about a week earlier and reported no issues with it. Controllers said that the pilot made no distress call before the crash.
The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine pressurized turboprop. It is often flown by a single pilot. It is also often used as a personal transportation plane. It was, authorities say, on its way to Sardinia when it crashed.
A poor-quality dash cam video reportedly shows the plane’s turn back toward the field, though it’s hard to make out many details. Again, there was no distress call and no previous indication that there were any mechanical issues with the plane.
What the nature of the “anomaly” was, authorities did not say, and it is possible that the “anomaly” was merely the plane’s unexpected deviation from its flight path. There have been no public comments on the matter other than that statement by the local prosecutor. The participation of the prosecutor doesn’t necessarily suggest any wrongdoing is suspected. In many countries, prosecutors lead local accident response efforts. The accident Investigators are already in possession of the plane’s flight data recorder, and they will be looking for physical signs of a possible collision, including a bird or drone strike.
Police said there were three Romanian nationals aboard, along with two Italians, two French citizens, and one Canadian, and one of those aboard was a young boy, authorities said. The plane was registered in Romania.