Four Pilots Missing As Fireball Engulfs Colliding Tornado Attack Jets

Yesterday, a pair of Italian Tornado attack jets from Ghedi Air Base in Northern Italy had a mid-air collision near the town of Ascoli Piceno. It is unclear whether the jets were in formation, opposing one another for training, or were independently navigating through the area.

Photos from the moment the jets hit show a huge fireball in sky.

The collision of the fuel-laden jets caused multiple fires in the surrounding hills, which have been fought by helicopter tanker aircraft. Neither of the pilots have been found since the event took place, and no parachutes were seen following the impact.

Italy flies two types of the Panavia Tornado, about 60 of which are the deep strike focused IDS models and 15 are the critical ECR variant, which is configured for the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) mission.

Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com