FlyDonna Records Edition

Ladies Aviators

7th International Meeting


Flydonna logo. Image credit Donatella Ricci
Image Credit © Donatella Ricci


FlyDonna is an international outreach event which has been running since its founding year, 2008, by the driving force of  Donatella Ricci. ‘Flydonna’ is designed to raise awareness of aviation opportunities available to girls/ladies of all ages, to promote women as an important asset and economic force beneficial for air and space industry, to foster gender equality and inclusion in communities and working environments.

World record aviators and pioneers in their specialties, attending this edition: pilot/instructor Donatella Ricci, Esa astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, WeFly! Team aerobatic pilots.

On 4-5 June 2016 the two-day-event hosted in Italy, displaying its most exquisite attire, is dedicated to past, present and future ladies in aviation. The location is a fully accessible airstrip nearby the enchanting Unesco World Heritage site.

Roman by birth Venetian by adoption, Donatella Ricci is an astrophysicist, nearly Esa astronaut in 2001, whose passion for flight made her choose aviation industry to pursue her dream. As of 2015 Donatella is the new World Altitude Record holder on autogyro/gyroplane with 27.556 ft/8.399 m, previously established in 2004 by American Andrew Keech. Donatella has turned herself into a daring test pilot of her standard Magni M16 machine designed and manufactured in Italy,  in order to accomplish her record.

Donatella currently holds the position as Product Manager at a prestigious helicopter design and manufacturing company near Venice, Italy, she is also the author of  the book “Record Flight On Gyroplane” published in 2017. A must read for anyone with the passion for flying, the book emblazoned by astronaut Cristoforetti’s preface, includes practical  information which accompany the journey to the world record. As keynote speaker Donatella reaches out to women and encourages them to pursue their dream of flying. As a flight instructor of ultralight airplanes, Donatella shows the beauty of flight and the sense of belonging to a world where there could be no boundaries.

Guest Of Honor: Samantha Cristoforetti

For Flydonna special edition guest of honor is Italian Air Force Captain, Esa Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

With her breathtaking photography, vivid memories of her 200 days spent in space onboard the International Space Station, the work accomplished, the out of this world daily life, the thrill of the journeys into space and reentry, Cristoforetti makes everyone relive her extraordinary life and professional experiences. Italian Armed Forces ladies pilots officers, parachuters and two generations of international ladies pilot and flight instructors, have come from all over Europe to celebrate her life-long achievements. Cristoforetti is, herself, a Flydonna’s example of dedication to one’s passion, having attended one of the first editions of the event.

Follow Your Dreams Dare To Fly

Special Guests: WeFly! Team

Among the remarkable partecipating guests: WeFly! Team  is the only aerobatic flying team in the world composed by three pilots of Italian nationality, two of which have physical disabilites: Alessandro Paleri, team leader, Marco Cherubini, left wingman. Erich Kustatscher is WeFly! Team’s instructor, Flight Club’s President, also very skilled planes and helicopters instructor, who holds a prestigous life-long carrier in aviation.

WeFly! Team Alessandro Paleri is the aerospace engineer who customized the planes they fly, in order to pilot only by use of hands.  Journalist and pilot Pino di Feo, is WeFly! Team’s speaker and public relation officer; Marco Tricarico, pilot and WeFly! Team’s photographer.  The choreography they design in the sky conveys a sense of passion, freedom, and shows incredible skills and abilities.

“Dare To Fly”

‘DareToFly’ is an initiative in collaboration with WeFly! Team, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Italian Air Force, European Space Agency (ESA). Cristoforetti presented the initiative while on board the ISS to internationally promote  the values of inclusion in our societies, and of encouragement for everyone to pursue one’s own goals and dreams. At ‘Flydonna’ she returns WeFly! Team the flag she flew to space, which they donated to the Museum of Science & Ntural History of Trento, Italy with the hope it will continue to inspire more people to DareToFly.

Flydonna Initiative

Flydonna is an initiative which adheres to the spirit of FEWP  (European Federation of Women Pilots  and ADA (Italian Organization Ladies Pilot). Their representative members partecipate with their personal and professional accomplishments, their enthusiasm and support.

Fiorenza De Bernardi-Italian aviation legend- Image credit ADA (
Fiorenza De Bernardi-Italian aviation legend- Image credit ADA (

More than 400 ladies pilots with fascinating backgrounds and stories attended the friendly and stimulating atmosphere of Flydonna. Among the many remarkable guests, Fiorenza De Bernardi, who in 1967 became one the first airline female pilot in Italy, and throughout her life did so much to promote women’s equality and inclusion in  working environments. Her legacy still lives on to these days.

Post header: Amelia Earhart, ink drawing ellarte.




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