The year 2008 in pictures

It’s only when you get to the end of the year that you get the full picture of what has happened in the previous 12 months. Images collected during worlwide travels, flights and base visits, used to illustrate the most different stories dealing with the World of Aviation, provide a means to get a snapshop on the most important topics discussed on this site in the 2008. A sort of “debrief at a glance”.


During the first part of the year I often spotted in Fiumicino airport to take pictures of the civilian aircraft taking off from “Leonardo Da Vinci” airport. There are a lot of other interesting things to see at Fiumicino in that period: the first Alitalia aircraft wearing the brand new company’s livery and, in particular, the B767 (B764). In that period I’m also interested in taking pictures of the Emirates B.777-300 since I’m discussing a lot about the safety of the “Triple Seven” fleet following the British Airways 038 crash landing in London Heathrow. The analysis of the possible root causes of the crash landing of the BA038 will be updated and reviewed each time a new report is issued or new details surface. During the year Aviation Safety will be always discussed and most important emergencies analysed: the (many) Qantas emergencies (http://cencio4.wordpress.com/tag/qantas/), the Lufthansa 044 wingstrike (http://cencio4.wordpress.com/tag/lh044/) and the Spanair crash in Madrid

At the end of February, I spent a few days in New York City and wrote a detailed Trip Report about my experiences on board one of those B767-300 still wearing the old colour scheme: Trip report: Rome Fiumicino (FCO) – New York JFK (JFK) Round-Trip

In March I went Frosinone airbase, to write a report on the 72° Stormo that will be published in 2009 on RID (Rivista Italiana Difesa). During the visit, I fly on board an NH-500E of the 208° Gruppo and to take part, along with another helicopter of the same type, to a mission inside the Frosinone (Aerodrome Traffic Zone). The flight provides an interesting opportunity for some air-to-air photography.

In April I visited the Exhibition held in Rome, inside an anti-aircraft bunker, whose title was “L’aeroporto che non c’è” (whose translation could be more or less “the airport that doesn’t exhist”) that dealt with the project of the Magliana water airport.

The Spring Flag exercise provided an interesting opportunity to fly on board Italy’s Air Force One: Inside the Italian Air Force One: discover the A319CJ. The

opportunity was provided by the Italian Air Force Press Office that organized a Media Flight to bring journlists and photographers to Decimomannu to attend the Media Day of the most important Italian exercise.

Spring Flag was indeed interesting. Media Day aside (with the interesting tactical event and subsequent mass fly-by) this website extensively covered the event, with a photographer (Giovanni Maduli), spending many days in the airport and reporting directly from there. All the related posts can be read by clicking the following link: http://cencio4.wordpress.com/category/military-aviation/spring-flag-military-aviation/.


On Apr 26 I went to Grazzanise for the 90th Anniversary of the 21° Gruppo. During the celebration, the ItAF Tiger Sqn presented a new Special Colour (New Italian Special Colour to celebrate the 21° Gruppo 90th Anniversary) and organize

On Apr 26, during the Reunion, I tested for the first time my Sigma 80-4

At the beginning of May I visited Trapani, where I took part in a SMI (Slow Mover Interception)

At the end of May I extensively followed the Giornata Azzurra 2008, the most important Italian airshow held each year at Pratica di Mare airbase. Among the most photographed aircraft, the mock up of the Lockheed JSF (Joint Strike Fighter), the UAE Mirages,

On Ju 1 I witnessed the tragic accident involving the NH90 of the Esercito Italiano (Italian Army) which crashed into the surface of Bracciano Lake, causing the death of Capt. Filippo Fornassi. To read more about this picture and the accident, visit the following link: http://cencio4.wordpress.com/nh90-crash-pictures/.

On Jun 20, I visited the Spotter Day for the 90th Anniversary of the 23° Gruppo, in Cervia. The highlight of the event, that was attended by many Italian and foreign visitors (for more details click here

During the Summer, I often went to Fiumicino, in order to witness the increase of air traffic caused by the transfer of the 70% of the Alitalia flights from Milan Malpensa (MXP) to Rome Fiumicino and by the Summer season’ schedule that always bring more aircraft to the Leonardo Da Vinci. After discussing a lot during the year about the safety issues of the B747-400 and B777 fleets (http://cencio4.wordpress.com/tag/aviation-safety/),


In November, I had also the unique opportunity to visit the Tishreen War Panorama Museum, located in Damascus, Syria. Built to celebrate the Yom Kippur War that took place in the October 1973 (”Tishreen” means “October” in Arabic), during which Syria fought along Egypt against Israel to conquer the Sinai peninsula and the Golan Heights lost in the Six Days War in 1967, the Museum hosts both Syrian equipment (aircraft, tanks, cannons) and Israeli “hardware” captured during the 1973 war and in 1982 war in Lebanon.

December was dedicated to the in-depth study of the whole year, that produced this photostory and the article about the accidents that involved Italian military helicopters: 2008: a bad year for Italian military helicopters. Obviously, this was just a quick look to the year 2008. To read what’s behind each image (and to see much more pictures) the best way is to go to the “Archive of the previous month” menu on the right hand coloumn and, by selecting desired month, to access all the posts written in that month. Otherwise, you may also use the search box located on top of the right hand coloumn.

#2008debrief #Yearlysummary

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