Collision between helicopter and light aircraft; seven bodies recovered from crash site; French instructor arrested


Last Friday (25 January), a San Jodel D.140 Mousquetaire collided with a helicopter close to La Thuile, a town and comune in the Aosta Valley of northwest Italy. While the helicopter was about to drop off a mountain guide and German skiers, the light aircraft departed from Megève Airport, France to land on the glacier.

Originally, five bodies were recovered from the crash site: the helicopter pilot, a mountain guide and three German skiers. On Saturday, two more bodies – 50 meters from the crash site and covered with snow – were recovered: a 59-year-old Frenchman and a 51-year-old Belgian citizen, confirmed by Belgium’s Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.

Two people survived the crash: a German skier from the helicopter and the French instructor that was seated in the back of the small aircraft. According to Italian police, the light aircraft failed to request permission to enter Italian airspace and didn’t warn Italian air traffic control. The injured French instructor has been arrested, and will be questioned when possible.

Bart Noëth: Since 1996, I have been working in the Belgian airline industry, from a weekend job as a cabin aircraft cleaner to a flight attendant. After the demise of Sabena - in 2001, I created a website called www.luchtzak.be, originally a meeting place for plane spotters and aviation freaks. Since 2017, the website changed into a professional news site. Next to aviation, I love to travel, wine and dine and enjoy my time off(-line) with my girlfriend, friends and family. My favourite football squad is KV Mechelen, I am an Ironman 70.3 finisher and my ambition is to complete a full Ironman.
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