The Icarus Flying Team
Icarus Flying Team is a free flight association that exists since 2011 and based in the Dolomites of Val di Fassa - Trentino.
Son of the old and glorious Ikarus, the Icaurs Flying Team has as first goal to incline the teenagers of our valley towards the free flight.
Since the year of its constitution the number of pilots has greatly increased and doubled recently.
Up to now the members of the club are 37, everyone duly insured and licensed, and they regularly practice the free flight activity, this is an important accomplishment for our small club!
Besides, in September 2014 the club has organized the first edition of the Fassa Sky Expo in Campitello di Fassa, the free flight fair in the Dolomites, where it has been possible to try the flight equipment of the most important producers and to fly over the Sassolungo, Sella, Pordoi and Marmolada with paragliders and hangliders.
After the success of the 2014 edition, the board is already working to the organization of the next edition: the Fassa Sky Expo 2015, for more information you can visit the special page:
Fassa Sky Expo 2016
Fassa Sky Expo
The weather has absolutely dominated the Expo, two wonderful days that only Val di Fassa can give at the end of September. Strong conditions on Saturday and more stable conditions on Sunday, gave to more than 600 pilots coming from all Europe the chance to enjoy exclusive views: Sasso Lungo, Gruppo del Sella, Pordoi, Marmolada, are just some of the mountains overflown. As far as the eye could see, there were many colored small spots at incredible altitudes, not to mention the innumerable top landings “on the Queen” - for those who don’t know the Marmolada is called “Queen of the Dolomites”.
The combination with the Expo, where the pilots could try harnesses, gliders, helmets and instruments from almost all brands, has been the icing on the cake.
Whenever an initiative gets organized for the first time, expectations are always great, but none of the Icarus members could have imagined such a high visitors turnout. On Thursday and Friday there was strong northern wind and it was pretty cold, 300 entrances in two days, someone was already thinking at a defeat, but didn’t count with the Azores High coming fast. On Friday night a staff- meeting of the Icarus club took place and everybody already had the strong feeling that the weekend would be crowded of colored wings and the stands full of visitors.
On Saturday morning, regular as clockwork, we have been awakened by a deep blue sky, a color that’s always very dear to pilots. They rushed the cable car and at 9.30 a.m. there was already someone thermalling. The 22 stands were full for the first time to the delight of the expositors.
The results: more than 800 free entrances, we adopted an excellent monitoring system, in fact the visitor had to pay a deposit of one Euro (returned at the exit) for a badge (like the skipass), this badge would open a turnstile and the computer would count the presences.
The day got better and better, at some point there were so many paragliders and hangliders that we feared the worst, but thanks to the amazing organization at the takeoff, the Icarus members have skillfully managed the situation. Thanks to the participants’ common sense and politeness, Saturday ended with a reserve opened and perfectly solved, and a failed takeoff, concluded by the 118 helicopter rescue intervention. (THANK YOU ALWAYS GREAT!)
On Sunday we replicated the previous day. A multitude of pilots with hangliders and backpacks rushes at 8.15 a.m. the counter of the cable car to avoid the queue of Saturday. Campitello di Fassa has a peculiarity that’s to say the wide landing is just 150 meters away from the cable car start. So already in the morning, some pilots had the chance to fly 3 or 4 times before the thermal conditions improved. You will certainly imagine the confusion at the takeoff, but incredible as it may be seen, on Sunday there have been just two reserves opened, both solved without any damage. In the meantime the stands were crowded, more than 600 visitors on Sunday. According to the operators, great deals have also been done and business has been pretty good! The weekend closed with crazy numbers: more than 2400 takeoffs in two days, 600 pilots that made an average of 4 flights each one, more than 3000 entries at the stands, (everything recorded, I’m not lying), just 3 reserves opened and a failed takeoff that caused a light lumbar injury to the pilot (we wish him to get well soon). It is hard to reach perfection, but for sure the first Fassa Sky Expo has been a great success. But flight is not the only thing in Campitello: on Friday night people danced the typical ladin valleys’ music in a dedicated pavilion. On Saturday Jimmy Pacher and Aaron Durogati told us about their flight experiences during the most important world championships, and with many useful advice on how to face the cross flight experience. A representative of the rescue team 118 talked about the safety in the free flight. Two awards: the first to Carmelo Bufalino who won the XC Trentino championship, the second one to Gabriele Cloch, our president, winner of the best triangle, who won a Woody Valley harness and also got married with his beloved Laura (many wishes from all of us). The first goal of the club, was not just to organize a certainly successful fair, but to gather all the club members and see them collaborate to make everything perfect. As member of the board I must say that I’m pleased and sure that our Icarus club will feel even cohesive than before, and the next edition will give us great satisfactions! THANK YOU GUYS, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! Last but not least a special thanks to our sponsors that made this exhibition possible: thanks to Campitello di Fassa municipality, to Canazei tourism promoting company, the hotels and shops of Campitello and Canazei, to the sun and to our Dolomites for sure, UNESCO world heritage site. See you soon!