Thousands of people on the coast at Terracina south of Rome watched in horror Sunday as a Eurofighter jet performing in an air show crashed in the sea — killing the pilot.
Italy’s air force said the jet completed a loop but then failed to get enough lift as it approached sea level. It slammed into the water just a few hundred meters offshore, sending up a huge plume of smoke and spray upon impact.
The air force said the body of the pilot — identified as Capt. Gabriele Orlandi — was recovered soon thereafter.
An investigation was opened into the cause.
The rest of the Terracina Air Show — which was to have featured Italy’s famed Frecce Tricolore squad — was canceled.