An American plane from the Aviano base, with its wing, gripped and severed the cable of a ski lift that climbed to the top of Cermis Mountain in the Dolomites.
On February 3, 1998, an unusual accident with tragic consequences occurred at the Italian ski resort of Cavalese. Namely, an American plane from the Aviano Air Force base, with its right wing, gripped and severed the cable of a ski lift climbing to the top of Cermis Mountain in the Dolomites. The aircraft was of the EA-6B Prowler type, intended for electronic warfare and was not badly damaged on that occasion. He lost some of his wing, but could return to base.
The 20-passenger cable car cabin fell from a height of about 80 meters. No one in it survived. The accident occurred because the plane was flying too low at less than 100 meters, although it had orders from the Pentagon to fly above 300 meters in the area. The speed of the plane at the accident was about 870 kilometers per hour.
The accident sparked anti-American protests in Italy, notably because the pilot and navigator were acquitted in US court. The victims’ families received $ 1.9 million in damages. It is also unusual that the worst ski lift accident in history occurred 22 years earlier in the same ski resort. Specifically, 42 people were killed at the fall from about 200 meters in height.