On a distant October 12, 1990, Alessandro Nannini, aged 31, suffered a serious helicopter accident in Siena, Italy. The Italian suffered amputation of his right arm, which was re-implanted in surgery. Despite the satisfactory result, Nannini was left with limited movement and did not return to racing in Formula 1.
The Italian pilot was in his private helicopter and took off from Florence airport to Bellasguardo in Siena. Nannini had intended to visit his parents and the accident happened at the landing, in a field near the family’s residence. At the time, the aircraft had a sudden gain in height and then suffered a fall of 30 meters.
Alessandro’s family witnessed the accident. Next to Nannini were the pilot, Francesco de Laguoro and two friends. Alessandro had his arm mutilated in the crash, Franceso, who didn’t have a pilot’s license, suffered a rib cage sinking. The other passengers were not hurt.
The Italian pilot was conscious when he was taken to Florence General Hospital, where he began the surgical process to re-implant his arm. The operation was successful and lasted about eight hours, but there was no guarantee of a return to Formula 1.
The helicopter had 30 hours of flights and the weather on the day of the accident was considered good, but with gusty winds. It is estimated that this was the cause of the downfall of the Ecurevil AS/350B model.
Alessandro Nannini, who was Nelson Piquet’s teammate, was replaced at Benetton by another Brazilian, Roberto Pupo Moreno. In the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix, the duo won the last Brazilian one-two in Formula 1: Piquet in first, Moreno in second.
About Alessandro Nannini
The pilot made his debut in 1986 for Minardi, where he remained until the end of the 1987 season. The good performance in a weak team, caught the attention of Benetton. Alessandro remained with the team from 1988 to 1990, winning a victory at the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix.
Two years after the accident, the driver signed a contract with Alfa Romeo to race in the German Touring Championship (DTM). Regarding Formula 1, Nannini was quoted to drive for Ferrari and had an opportunity in the Maranello team, in a test in 1992. Four years later, the driver would return to the circus to test a Benetton.
Currently, Alessandro Nannini is 63 years old and runs a coffee shop in Italy.