Andora Airshow

Filed in Team News by on 22nd September 2013

Andora was our first SWIP team display along the picturesque Ligurian Mediterranean Coastline and was always destined to be a memorable weekend away. The biggest challenge for any long autumn flights is the weather, but fortunately an anticyclone across northern Europe brought us fair weather and light winds for the whole trip.

The flight through France was made very special by a chance meeting with Peter Teichman and his photo-reconnaissance Mk XI Spitfire at Troyes, who had also stopped for fuel on his was to a show in Switzerland. On departure he agreed to pose for our cameras for a quite unique photograph.

Further on, the Alps were magnificent in the afternoon sun, and made even more impressive by the Cloudless skies over Mt Blanc and the beautiful view of the towering ridges, rising out of the low layers of valley smog on the Italian side.

On arrival in Albenga we met with Show director Cesare Patrono and Francesco Toscano, a local instructor and our guide and translator. The novelty act this year was local pilot Daniele Beltrame, flying a unique aircraft, designed to look like a Rooster chicken, complete with a library of chicken noises on CD to be played through with the on-board speakers… it had to be seen to be believed. His party piece was being shot – with a release of paper steamer feathers from the chicken! – The kids loved it!

The seaside airshows along the Italian Riviera move from year to year, and the Commune of Andora was this year’s venue, a resort town with a large marina and some beautiful beaches. We were given I guided tour by the town’s cultural ambassadors, so a thanks to Manuela, Roberta and Vanessa from Green Butterflies.

We flew our pyro show on Saturday, followed by our normal display on Sunday. The Italian national team of the Frecce Tricolori (the 3 coloured arrow) closed the weekend with their last show of the season, and the weekend was toped off a plush gala dinner. We sat with Gustavo Saurin who had 3 amphibious SeaMax aircraft in the display this year, including airshow newcomers Kathrin Wötze and Stefano Ghiorzo, both glider World Champions.

The flight home was just as stunning through the Alps, with the bad weather holding off for just long enough to make it a great weekend!

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