15 February 2019
Flying alongside Dad
Most of my stories about Dad are to do with flying. I happily recall the days when early in the morning he came in my room, and nose pressed to the window he checked the weather conditions outside. Whether it was snow, wind, or who knows what, he would say to me: “Fancy going for a flight?” I was always willing to jump up, get dressed in a flash, and two minutes later we would be away in his blue Fiat Panda and headed for the hangar. Often we would have to dig out the snow from in front of the hangar doors, drag out the plane, add a bit of petrol, and rev up the engine. We had a Piper PA 18 with 180 CV, fitted with skis so as to land on snow. It was the perfect machine for flying in the mountains and at that time he had been flying for at least forty years and I myself for about 15. We went up over the Dolomites, and over to the plateau parts of Cherz and Pralongia. There was always the stop at Belluno airport to refuel, say hi to friends and have a coffee together. And then it was off again across one valley or another. Dad knew all the places to stop-off and he knew all the owners of huts and their specialities. Our stop-offs depended on our gastronomic mood – we would call in near Conegliano for a prosecco and a sausage, at Caorle for a great fish dish, or at Feltre for polenta and cheese. Dad was welcome everywhere, he had lots of pilot friends and flying to various places with him was always a school of life. I remember more than well the stories he and his friends would tell in the most relaxed of atmospheres after a prosecco or two. I should add one thing just to be clear: whoever was the pilot on our outings never touched alcohol and we always returned home safe and sound. As you can imagine – I was often the pilot!
Chizzali & Benedikter Duo at the Bistrot Live Club!