A single engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee 9H-FLY with Oliver Bennett, David Polidano, Raymond Ebejer and Ezechiel Busuttil from the Malta Aviation Museum last month attended the fifth annual Historical Aircraft Group’s Fly Party for vintage aircraft at the airfield of Montagnana in the Veneto region, northern Italy.
The local museum’s participation was made possible thanks to main sponsor Mediterranean Insurance Brokers and secondary sponsors Grand Hotel Excelsior, Sky People flying school, Euro Star Garage, Total oils, Mosta Radiators and Splash and Fun water park.
Mr Polidano thanked MIB for making their attendance to the Fly Party possible: “With your support we have continued to strengthen our friendship with like-minded vintage aviation enthusiasts and operators in Europe. The HAG aims to keep the aviation culture alive and strong in Italy, and preserves and enhances the historical, technological and cultural impact that classic airplanes represent.”
No fewer than 60 vintage aircraft took part, with the Maltese crew being awarded a memento for having travelled the greatest distance to attend the Fly Party.
In its report, Warbirds News (www.warbirdsnews.com) described the two-day event, which hosted airplanes, gliders, helicopters, ultralights and aerobatic teams, as the premier event in the Italian air show season. It also hosted the first meeting devoted to airplanes designed by the legendary aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer, Stelio Frati.
One of his notable planes was the Aermacchi SF.260, and there were four of them on display. During the flight demonstrations of the SF.260s, four planes suddenly fell together to perform a seemingly impromptu precision aerobatics display, carrying out a series of complicated steps and manoeuvres, wingtip to wingtip, garnering an enormous and enthusiastic response from the crowds below, who were not expecting much more than flyovers and some solo aerobatics.
The mystery of the SF.260 display was solved when the planes landed and the pilots were revealed to be four former pilots of the Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force’s aerobatic exhibition team. These pilots, now retired, clearly have not lost a taste for flying, nor an appreciable diminishment of their skills.
The success of this year’s event, the largest yet, was in large part due to the hard work of AvioClub Montagnana through its many volunteers and the tireless and efficient Vittorio Frison.
The event director, Sergio Maron, serving as the announcer, was able to masterfully paint a compelling picture, describing the aircraft which flew during the show, bringing tangible emotion to the colourful commentary he provided for the planes, some of which he himself flew during his many years of service in the Italian Air Force.
A spokesman for MIB said: “It is our pleasure to support initiatives to fly our flag beyond our shores. We thank the MaltaAviationMuseum for seeking our collaboration and remain devoted to assist in similar events. We take the opportunity to congratulate the Maltese crew for their accomplishment.”