5 April 2024 – Istrana Airbase

It was held today, on the Istrana Base, headquarters of the 51st Wing "Ferruccio Serafini" the ceremony for the closing of the activities of the AMX aircraft.

The last time I crossed the gates of the airport in the province of Treviso was in 2019, not even doing it on purpose, for the 30th birthday of the Italian-Brazilian fighter-bomber (you can find the service which).

The ceremony, chaired by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General of the Air Force Luca Goretti (who participated in the farewell flight aboard a two-seater), it saw the participation of numerous leaders of the Armed Forces and numerous authorities, including the Minister of Justice the Hon. Carlo Nordio, the President of the Province of Treviso Stefano Marcon, the Prefect of Treviso Angelo Sidoti and the Mayor of Istrana Maria Grazia Gasperini.
A large representation of staff also wanted to be present at the event, during the latter 35 age, had the opportunity to trade on the AMX.

Born from the collaboration between national industries (mainly the then Aeritalia, then Alenia and Aermacchi, today reunited under the banner of Leonardo) and the Brazilian Embraer, the A-11B Ghibli aero-tactical jet (as reported in the official documentation) it was the combat aircraft most used by the Air Force in international missions.
Since 1989, the year in which he was assigned to the 103rd Flight Group of the 51st Wing of Istrana, and then entered the line subsequently also to the 2nd Wing of Rivolto, to the 3rd Wing of Villafranca and the 32nd Wing of Amendola (thus replacing G 91R, G 91Y e F/RF 104G), constituted the "light" component of the attack units, alongside the best performing (but definitely more complicated) Panavia Tornado, gradually becoming the most used AM aircraft in missions outside the borders.

Today we say goodbye to an aircraft that made the history of the Air Force“, said the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General of the Air Force Luca Goretti. “For us, an airplane is not a simple piece of iron, it's part of the family. Behind this plane there is a submerged world of joys and sorrows, of emotions, of people who managed it, maintained, they flew him and our thoughts go to those of them who are no longer with usallowing you to achieve results and maintain extraordinary operating standards“.

General Goretti then concluded: “Today with a bit of melancholy we turn a page while we keep others open. The future is already here, with the Eurofighter and F-35 lines which are now the backbone of the aero-tactical component of the Armed Forces, with the sixth generation aircraft that we are already concretely thinking about and with new challenges and new domains, like the space one, which increasingly become part of our daily lives and our operating environment“.

Colonel Emanuele Chiadroni, Commander of the 51st Fighter Wing, taking the floor, he underlined the importance of the service provided by the aircraft in his activity: “The AMX next 35 years of operational life with the insignia of the 2nd, 3°, 32° and 51st Wing and thanks to the indispensable support of the 3rd Aircraft Maintenance and Armaments Department (even before that, the 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Department), closes an important page of a wonderful blue adventure. With the double role that I cover - he added -and Commander of the last Wing to be equipped with this aircraft, and as an operational pilot for many years on the AMX , I feel the obligation to deeply thank all of you rallies who selflessly, you have studied professionalism and dedication, fixed up, prepared, piloted, admired and defended playfully and from whom all of us have always expected so much."

The day began with the take-off of an MB 339CD which preceded the landing of 2 C 27J with the authorities on board, followed by the arrival of the replica of Zanardo's Caproni Ca.3 and an F-35A Lighting II.

The actual event began with the takeoff of 5 AMX, including the Special Color revealed a few minutes earlier, who reunited in flight with the Frecce Tricolori who, in a mini-training of 4 aircraft, they greeted Toponi's formation (nickname given to the AMX, that, frankly, I've never loved much) with white fumes.

I 4 Ponies then performed a mini bass program (the weather conditions were not optimal) which still entertained those present a lot.

Once the aircraft of the National Acrobatic Team landed, the AMX Special Color was reunited with a Typhoon, a Tornado and an F 35A, thus bringing together the first line of fighter jets of our Air Force, followed by the diamond formation of the remaining AMXs. Thus, formation passes and solo Special Color passes alternated

To conclude there was the final passage of the AMXs followed by transformation and overflight with an opening for landings and a walkway for the Authorities.

I have very few photos of the static, since the planes were placed among the public, with the barriers very close and therefore always blocked by someone.
In return, a few days before the event, a flight was organized in which it was possible to film one of the last operational missions of the AMX in the company of Typhoon and Lightning to which the elderly fighter ideally passed the baton

Below you can find the remaining photographs