Last day in Pavullo nel Frignano (MO) – Day 4

The fourth day of “X-Italia” leaves no space for anything other than exhibition, entertainment, soaring flight and pure satisfaction.


The day starts early, at 07:30 with the three gliders made ready for repeat performance of the display, but this time in the skies above Modena, for the start of the eleventh stage of the “Giro d’Italia”.

The display starts at 09:40 with the formation with Stefano Ghiorzo and Riccardo Brigliadori. President of the Aeroclub Pavullo, Roberto Gianaroli, makes a brief introduction explaining the flight to all those present. According to our pilots, flight over the historic center of the city is something indescribable.

Following a brief stop at Pavullo for a battery change, completed in just 2 minutes, we continue with the main task of the day: Pavullo – Airfield “Il Borro” (Arezzo) – “Il Gabbiano” Airfield (Livorno)

GIRO_16-364Self-launching soon after lunch, uncertain weather with low clouds and gusty winds await our pilots. With the motors off at about 200 m they start searching for the first thermals of the day. Once underway, just south-east of “Il Borro” they turn south-west en-route towards to San Vincenzo (LI). Being close to the coast the views on track are exceptional and our pilots must concentrate hard on the task in hand. However the conditions are not easy. With 60km to run, Luigi Bertoncini has to resort to using the motor and heads towards the nearest airfield which is Chiusdino (Siena). Brigliadori and Ghiorzo are engaged in a race to the finish. Brigliadori used a little power to find some weak lift and with perseverance it develops into +2 m/s, gaining him precious seconds. Meanwhile Ghiorzo is at cloud base, he too uses a short burst of the motor to reach final glide into San Vincenzo, allowing him win yet another task albeit by just a very narrow margin. Congratulations to Stefano but be careful, Ricardo is always lurking!
Another exciting challenge comes to an end. It was not an easy day for our three heroes, but without the help of the electric motors, today would almost certainly have been declared another “rest day” with such poor weather conditions and non-landable airstrip