Weather is a suspected factor in the fatal crash of a Leonardo AW109E Power over the weekend that killed seven in Italy. The helicopter was making a regularly scheduled shuttle flight from the San Domino heliport in the Tremiti Islands in the Adriatic Sea to Foggia when it went down Saturday shortly after 9:20 a.m. local time.
Alidaunia operated the flight. The victims included both pilots, a doctor returning home from a shift on Tremiti, and four members of a Slovenian family on holiday. Local authorities reported a thunderstorm in the vicinity of the last radio contact in an area between Apricena and San Severo. The wreckage was recovered in a rural area of Castelpagano di Apricena 31 nm from Foggia.
Based in Foggia, Alidaunia began operations in 1976 and started helicopter flights in 1984. Since 1985, it has provided helicopter passenger service between Foggia and the Tremiti Islands, and it is the only Italian helicopter company offering regularly scheduled passenger service. It also provides 24/7 helicopter air ambulance service to the islands. The company is a factory-authorized service provider for Leonardo and Robinson helicopters.