Pilot dies after emergency landing, saving cameraman

 VICENZA – A 74-year-old pilot who suffered a heart attack during an aerial movie shoot, landed his historic aircraft safely, saving the life of the cameraman onboard, only to die shortly after hitting the tarmac.

 Renato Fornaciari was flying the 1930s tiger moth biplane Monday during the filming of a new movie by Marco Paolini, “The Island that isn’t there. The true story of Peter Pan,” when a sudden illness forced him to make an emergency landing at “Romeo Sartori” airport in Asiago, in the province of Vicenza, in Veneto.

 Cameraman Marco Vignoni, 42, from Brescia, was shooting footage over Ortigara, Monte Zebio, when Fornaciari allegedly suffered the heart attack. But the pilot managed to maintain enough lucidity to glide and land the aircraft on the grass at the side of the runway.

 Emergency crews, who rushed to the scene, pulling the pilot from the plane, were unable to resuscitate him.

 Born in the Parma area, the veteran pilot of more than 40 years was internationally known among mountain flying enthusiasts. The historic aircraft he was piloting, rented for the location shoot that had been filming in the Vicenza mountains for a few days, was owned by a collector from Asiago. 

 "Neverland. The true story of Peter Pan” tells the story of an Austro-Hungarian soldier who died at 21 from injuries sustained in a fight at Cima Grappa on 19 September 1918.

 Filming has been suspended out of “respect for the pilot's family.”