Italy's Frecce Tricolori flying team displays its skills over Aviano

The seven-member Frecce Tricolori air acrobatics team passes over Aviano Air Base, Italy, on Friday, April 4, 2014. The jets are based at nearby Rivolto Air Base and perform a brief series of maneuvers at Aviano each year.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 4, 2014

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — Italy’s national acrobatics flying team entertained Americans and Italians during a brief demonstration over the base Friday.

Frecce Tricolori is based at nearby Rivolto Air Base and performs at air shows around the world. It’s become a tradition for the team to provide a brief demonstration of its abilities over Aviano. The short demonstration included several maneuvers with the MB-339 jets producing white smoke that quickly blended with a haze over the nearby Dolomite mountains. They also demonstrated precision-flying techniques, individual maneuvers and a stunt where all of the team’s seven jets climbed high in the air before appearing to drift toward the earth like snowflakes.

Dozens of Americans and Italians gathered both inside and outside the base to watch the display.

Frecce Tricolori is one of the world’s best-known air acrobatics teams. Though the group performs an array of difficult maneuvers every year without incident, three jets collided during a show at Ramstein Air Base in Germany in 1988 that resulted in the deaths of 70 people.


Smoke trails the jets of Italy's famed Frecce Tricolori air acrobatics team during a pass over Aviano Air Base on Friday, April 4, 2014. Frecce Tricolori - tri-colored arrows in English - is Italy's version of the Thunderbirds and is based at Rivolto Air Base, a 30-minute drive (and quicker flight) away.