THE WRECK OF THE AGELLO FIAT C.29 IN LAKE GARDA

28.05.2016

THE WRECK OF THE AGELLO FIAT C.29 IN LAKE GARDA

Coltri

Several wrecks of vessels and aircraft of historical interest have been found in Lake Garda. During the last few weeks, attention has been focused on the discovery of the Fiat C.29 racing seaplane, license number 129, one of the test planes lost by the Italian flying ace, Francesco Agello.

The seaplane sank on 16 July 1929, probably due to an anomalous wave on the lake's surface or floating debris, which caused the plane to rear up at the speed of 150 kph and then fall backwards.

Agello survived thanks to the rescue squads that quickly took action and also thanks to the advice given by Mario Bernasconi, the pilot of the first C.29 that sank during initial floating tests at a speed of 100 kph, who told Agello to have the windshield dome removed to make evacuation easier in the case of an emergency.

Since that day, for nearly ninety years, the myth of Agello's seaplane grew around the shores of Garda, but despite various attempts it had never been found.

At least not until last 21 February, when the wreck was discovered by the Garda Volunteers Group, searching for a free diver who had disappeared in January in the gulf of Desenzano. A shape appeared on the boat's sonar readout, which was later identified by the remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), making the position of the red aircraft clear, resting almost vertically on the tail with the emblem of the fascist era on the side.

Subsequent visual inspection found the writing C.29 and 129 on the remains of the tail, rendering the provenance of the wreck absolutely certain. The Municipality of Desenzano, involved in managing the discovery, was enthusiastic, presenting the find to the press and the public.

The future of the wreck is now in the hands of the appropriate institutions, which are considering various plans for its future.

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