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What was your journey towards becoming a fighter pilot?

To tell you the truth since I was a child and as most children wish, it has always been my big dream to become a military pilot. Rivolto is the base of Frecce Tricolori and living close to the base, well, I have always thought that a military pilot was a part of the Frecce Tricolori team. I have therefore decided to study at the Aeronautical Institute in Udine. Every day I passed by the base, reinforcing my motivation and my dream. After I graduated High School, I challenged myself to apply for the Air Force Academy, where there are very limited opportunities. I have luckily and successfully managed to enter the Academy in 2003 and since then all my dreams became reality.

What was the feeling the first time you stepped into the cockpit?

A simple word: Terrific. The feeling of entering into a completely blue airplane was tremendously stunning. Also being inside the airplane of the Italian National Aerobatic Team was just awesome and thrilling.

How, if at all, difficult was the transition from a fighter pilot to an aerobatic pilot?

The transition was not an easy task. Although the MB339 was an aircraft that I perfectly knew, being the same aircraft used during my flight school, the aerobatic flight is completely different from any form of flight: it is a matter of wide-ranging dedication and devotion involving your heart and soul. I will always treasure the six months of intense training.

How important is teamwork within an aerobatic team?

It is definitely the most important aspect. Beyond the piloting skills that must be there, our performances are based on a seamless and impeccable synchronization like in an orchestra where each instrument plays in perfect harmony with the others.

Watching the performance from the ground is jaw-dropping, but how breath-taking is the view from the cockpit?

During the performances, there is limited space for emotions as, maneuver after maneuver, you are completely focused on what you are doing. Though in that particular moment when some moves allow you to see the whole formation upside down, well, that is when I am always so amazed by how it is possible to reach such perfection in flying.

Which acrobatic maneuver is your favorite to perform?

The double Tonneau is definitely my favorite maneuver. In practice, it is a 360º flying over to the right of Pony 5, paying particular attention to fly very close and at the same time looking for symmetry with Pony 2 who is also flying at his left side.

You’re positioned as the 1st Right Wingman, or Pony 3 – is there a trick that’s especially difficult for you?

Among the whole types of maneuvers, Ventaglio is the most challenging for me. It is a Tonneau on the axis to be performed inside a very narrow air corridor. On the left is Pony 1 and on the right side is Pony 5: any slightly smearing can affect the safety of other airplanes.

And lastly, how important do you think is the Frecce Tricolori for the Italian people?

The Frecce Tricolori, as defined by the majority of people, is one of the Italian national prides. I truly trust that with the Frecce Tricolori, we are representing our country abroad with honor, receive respect and admiration from many countries we have visited. The Three-Colours/Tricolori that we sparkle in the sky represents Italy and our perfection during the performance represents that everything in Italy is simply the best. Let me close by saying that the Frecce Tricolori is strategically important for a country like ours. FORZA ITALIA and FORZA FRECCE TRICOLORI!