Chilling footage captures the moment a tourist plane and a helicopter collide in mid-air over the Alps in crash that left seven dead
- The footage is from two cameras found by the crash site in the Aosta Valley
- The helicopter had taken off minutes before it crashed with the tourist plane
- Only two survived the crash that happened near the Rutor Glacier on January 25
Footage has emerged showing the moment a helicopter collided with a tourist plane over the Italian Alps, moments after take-off, killing seven.
Soccorso Alpino, the Italian Mountain rescue team, released the video of the mid-air collision that happened on January 25 near the Rutor glacier in the Aosta Valley, some 50 miles northwest of the city of Turin.
The footage, from two GoPro cameras, found at the crash site near the ski resort of La Thuile, shows the chilling final moments of the two aircraft in flight.
The footage released by Soccorso Alpino – Guardia di Finanza – shows the peaceful scenes of the Alps which are shattered seconds later as the aircraft collide
Peaceful scenes of the valley are seen to shatter as the tourist plane from Mege’ve in France and the Italian heliski helicopter collide.
The footage, recently released by the Italian mountain rescue teams, Soccorso Alpino – Guardia di Finanza – shows two separate views of the crash.
One appeared to be from a lateral view of the aircraft, another from the front window of the helicopter.
Debris is sent flying and everything begins to spiral out of control as the aircraft appears to plummet to the ground
The helicopter piloted by Maurizio Scarpelli from Italy, had only taken off minutes before the fatal crash
As the aircraft collide debris is sent flying and everything begins to spiral out of control plummeting to the ground.
Reports from Italian media at the time of the crash in January, indicated the helicopter had taken off just minutes before the crash, unaware that the French four-seater Jodel aircraft was coming in to land.
A police spokesman told Italy’s RAI radio that the airplane appeared to enter Italian airspace without informing local air traffic control.
The helicopter was carrying six people – the pilot, an alpine guide and four passengers.
There were three on board the tourist plane – all of whom were pilots undertaking mountain flying training.
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, five people were confirmed dead, but this number rose to seven as rescuers found two bodies in the snow the following day.
Two others, the pilot of the French four-seater Jodel aircraft, Philippe Michel, and a German national on board the helicopter were seriously injured, but survived.
Among those died in the crash were French, Swiss, Italian and Belgian nationals.
The mid-air collision happened on January 25 near the Rutor glacier in the Aosta Valley, some 50 miles northwest of the city of Turin
A police spokesman said at the time of the crash that the airplane appeared to enter Italian airspace without informing local air traffic control
The Rutor glacier is commonly used as a landing and take-off hub for small tourist planes with skates – after they have flown over the area several times looking for crevasses and any hikers on foot.
The track, about 500 meters long, is uphill; pilots land at the bottom and glide to the top, often without stopping. They then turn the nose of the plane to the valley and continue the run to take off downhill.
The complex maneuver requires considerable expertise, because as well as hikers walking on the glacier, there are often tourist helicopters to contend with at the popular spot.