I was born in 1960 in Carole, a fishing town on the Veneto coast that seems to have nothing to do with aeronautics.
My father was a fan of flying. Although he never had his dream job, he passed along his passion to me and to my twin. He took us from 1963 (I had three years at the first encounter with a G91 aircraft), to see the Frecce Tricolori at various bases where they performed. Or to spend endless hours on the terrace above Marco Polo Airport, just to watch the planes arrive and land.
I began to save my tips from Sundays to accumulate the few dollars needed to buy my first boxes of Airfix models and Italaerei. My friends went to the movies, but I bought model airplanes; my friends watched football matches on tv in black and white, but I watched Pete & Chuck in "whirlybirds; my friends played hide and seek, but I hid under my mother's the Singer sewing machine and played helicopter pilot!
Then came the choice among the best, and obviously it was Malignani in Udine.
When I was 18 years old, I asked my father to help me get the first pilot licence at the aeroclub of Campoformido. That was a good deal; I worked all season at night to make bread in the oven and to turn it into patent money.
The Director of the College gave me my “Lambrettone” for going to class at the airport. One day it was raining and he gave me the Simca 1000 green ... "NO thanks Don Mario-- I'm going with my the Lambretta. Don't worry!"
“Licence achieved! I am master of the sky”. From the top of my 20 hours of Morane I applied for the Air Force selection, AUPC. 5000 candidates at Military Medical Institute of Naples. Of the 200 candidates at the initial military training course I ranked 27th, 12th at the flying course at Latina with the SIAI SF 260 and third at the Military Pilot course on the FIAT G91T.
At 23 years of age the Golden Eagle military pilot badge was gleaming on my chest, and at 24 I found myself at Galatina flying instructor on the MB339. The beautiful military experience closed with a good 1400 hours good to go into Alitalia.
I was "Mad Dog" (MD80) Pilot of for five years, First Officer on the MD-11 for the next five, finally Airbus 321 Commander from 1998, after a year TRI (Type Rating Instructor) after four years TRE (Type Rating Examiner), then came the big jump to the wide body plane that gave me great emotions ... Commander on MD11 freighters, then the TRI course and TRE on that beautiful machine.
End of Alitalia ... and I begin again with CAI. Back to the Airbus and again instructor.
My official 14800 flight hours to date don't include the many hours without full flight simulators (2400) and those made in California on helicopters (private rotorcraft patent FAA Airplane and ATP) and on the Stearman PT17, T6 Texan, Birddog L19, T28 the Trojans, Waco, Bell 47 G2, Bell 206, the L3/Hughes 300//Beech Enstrom, the Baron/Piper, Seneca/Piper Cub or the Cessna.
So, for me flying is an enormous passion and I have accomplished my dream. I am lucky. I am paid to fly and I do what I am passionate about.
In my life there is a motto, "There is more to learn." I adhere to that and I belong to HAG where I definitely learn more.