North-Eastern lands, Vthcentury: overall unappealing territories, the crossing arduous, detour perilous, pretty much inadequate even for transitory stopovers, thus ideal for permanent settlements. The birth of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, surrounded by wildlife sanctuary for permanent and migratory bird colonies, Venice and its lagoon, Italy Unesco World Heritage Centre.
To enter the city by road is routine, by boat evocative but to soar above its lagoon with multi awarded pilot Erich Kustatscher and with gyroplane World Record holder Donatella Ricci, is everlasting. It may sound all too good to be true, likewise is the thrill and joy of unanticipated experiences come true.
From anywhere in Triveneto on the way to the Adriatic Sea coastline and its renowned beaches, the eye glances at a harmonious productive landscape and spots a plethora of artistic, natural and historical references. Along the Piave river now-a-days little villages and towns bear revived icons of communities’ animated history, like the Municipality of Musile di Piave and Caposile, Unesco World Heritage Centre.
On the busy road in direction of the town of S.Dona’ di Piave and the beaches of Jesolo, it’s inevitable to notice how freely in ample spaces ultralight planes and aircrafts soar into the sky. The airfield is nearby, at Caposile: intentionally unglamorous, welcoming, disabled pilots friendly Flight Club/Academy Papere Vagabonde is Erich Kustatscher’s and Donatella Ricci’s friendly dominion. In 2017 the flight club celebrates its 30th anniversary since its founding. Thirty years is an auspicious reward for its President Erich Kustatscher: prestigious background in aviation, multi awarded pilot and currently pilot flight instructor of helicopters and ultra lightweight aircrafts. And for Donatella Ricci: gyroplane altitude world wecord holder, hot air-balloon, helicopter, gyroplane pilot and flight trainer, she wears many hats in the aviation sector.
The special anniversary also celebrates the official presentation of Donatella’s beautifully written book, in which she recalls relevant phases of her training, strategies and team work, the magic of flying accessible to everybody. The book is emblazoned with foreword written by someone familiar with daring choices, extreme environments but also with timely direction, Samantha Cristoforetti, catalyst of momentum and pragmatic visionnaire.
Erich and Donatella with all members and supportes make the Club a charming place, where passion for flight unites people of all walks of life. Passion for flight and adventure unite people in a friendly ambience. Things shared while enjoying a drink and savory meals let this special event be cherished, with appreciation for dedication and expertise that elevates picked ingredients to culinary art, the art of blending innovation with tradition while preserving their natural characteristics. Colors spark the quality and fragrance of wines, flavors and aromas of vegetables and foods, trait of ingredients which treasure the heritage of territory and culture.
In hundread among friends and club members arrive to celebrate. Many fly in from all different locations, taking advange of the warm sunny days and crystal clear blue skies. Light aircrafts can be flown with a basic pilot licence, called Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) in Australia, Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) in Europe, different regulations according to countries, Canada, and parameters, Usa. Anyway the basic sport licence takes about half the time of Private Pilot Licence (PPL) to earn, and opens the world of aviation to a larger class of enthusiasts. Being a pilot is about pleasure, personal accomplishment, adventure but also generates opportunities in business and careers in variety of fields.
As ever the splendid Flight Club’s green airstrip hosts in good fashion all the aircrafts guests flew in with: a crop of different types of ultralight aircrafts and single-engine planes. The reassuring look of gyroplane latest brand models (a motorbike of the skies, a helibike at heart -half bike half helicopter); the versatile helicopters everyone has dreamed of piloting; the romance of the past century pioneering planes, impeccably in great shape. Exciting to think the places they visited, things they did and saw, the places they will go and see.
And here we are carefully listening . to that faint . far-flung sound . coming out of nowhere. Now it encircles the airstrip. All eyes focused on the sky. Noses up up ↑, feet pacing in circles… watch out the ditch ↓ . Nope, nothing yet… but the air is saturated with sounds, so what is it, where is it? A cloud of rotor blades gallop from the void into the airstrip. Oh, oh! It’s an invasion of some sort. Is it now cool to panic?! ‘cos, so close feels the end.” But wait, the aircraft with the coolest liverage by award winner designer Mirco Pecorari is Donatella’s Magnigyroplane. With all her gyroplane pilot friends turning and coming, swooshing in the air, and WeFly!Team designing embracing plumes in the sky. They all fly free above centuries of changing territories and lands, colorful flamingos and sinuous streams of the lagoon, clock-towers and lighthouses, adjusting the ride where flapping wings fly, where birds feel the expansion of air. Perhaps the novelty of soaring into the air is just that: to discover what flying feels like, when looking out while holding the control stick in the flight deck.
It’s all amazing fun, for Flight Club Papere Vagabonde and its teams have previously hosted aviation events like this one near Venice, and it’s run by incredible trainers whose experience and drive is of inspiration to many.