On Jet of the Pattuglia Acrobatica Italiana

This is an historic photograph, celebrating my first film. A reportage more than 17′ long on Channel 5 where I told the feelings of a sunday pilot (those who fly on the “Cessna”) performing aerobatics on a jet of the Italian Aerobatic Team: the mythical Frecce Tricolori.

Behind me you can see the Arriflex which came with me on the flight- At the time we shot on 16mm film stock and during the aerobatic manoeuvers the camera was too heavy to keep it steady… not to mention the stomach which didn’t bear to look at the world through an eye which flickered and pointed at a side view (have a look at the following photo).

I trained a bit performing some aerobatics (in a way of speaking) on propeller driven aircrafts, but what with the emotion of the moment, the nervous strain (I had to remember the lessons on how to handle a highly professional camera) and the continuous apnoea spells to keep the camera stable, at every aerobatic manoeuver commander Bonazzi (test pilot in chief of Aermacchi) had to remind me to breathe oxygen 100% from the mask to survive.

Commander Bonazzi giving me the last advice and showing me the emplacement of the ejection tool, just in case… :” you never know”

After two 50 minutes missions (one on a MB 339 training jet and the other one on the team jet, to be able to cross the shootings) I had lost 4 kgs and I was wet to the skin as if I had fallen in a swimming pool…