New Adventures of Italians in Russia
A squadron of italian light aircraft and pilots flew to Russia in July this year. They were dreaming to see Russia, meet Russian pilots and get acquainted with general aviation infrastructure.
Denis Losev, team leader: “Italian pilots are deeply interested in Russia and in any possibility to fly there on their own aircrafts. In recent years many of them attempted to obtain landing permits, either individually or in groups, but always failed to. This year an initiative of Aeroclub Lugo F. Baracca (Lugo di Romagna) was supported by pilots from all over Italy. And they knew there is a lot to see in Russia”.
MAK Aviation Services was happy to assist those brave italian aviators to overcome bureaucracy barriers and finally fly to our country. Out of 14 initially participating aircraft 9 have ultimately arrived to Russia while others have left the group for technical reasons.
Flying in Russia was mostly in unfamiliar to italians conditions - low ceiling (600-1000 ft), thunderstorms on the route and in the vicinity of airfields. Not that italian pilots are accustomed to such kind of weather back home - normally in Italy such conditions are keeping everyone on the ground. Against all odds, the pilots were skilled enough and were excellently prepared to manage en-route complications.
Crews were very motley - a doctor, a software engineer, a designer, a pharmacist, entrepreneurs, aged from 40 to 75, from various regions of Italy - but all of them are united by their passion to the sky and airplanes.
Every day in Russia was full of events and emotions. The brightest ones - formation flight over Moscow Sheremetyevo airport UUEE and visit to the Central Aviation Museum in Monino.
We asked team leader Denis Losev what would he tell to foreign pilots who are scared to fly to Russia. His answer was: “I believe we should now say ‘who were scared to fly to Russia’. I admit there are still many obstacles, but at every airfield we landed there was somebody speaking at least English. ATC was always in English even on the low level VFR routes, so all difficulties were finally and happily resolved. I encourage everyone to fly to Russia, the gates are open, friendly people there will help you in any need you have. They will even return you back to Italy your bag and coat absently left behind on an airfield in Moscow outskirts!”
We are looking forward to welcoming italian pilots in Russia again and we hope next time renowned tenor signor Al Bano will join the group and fly to Russia.