Glider flights. Capture the energy of the wind in Valle d'Aosta's skies
The term sailflying in common use, indicates a flight without propeller, made with a glider, which, after initial towing - to raise the "nose" and take off, exclusively uses the energy of surrounding air masses, in a free falling motion with a flight duration based on the weather conditions and pilot's experience. It is a slow, elegant meander, with alternating straight gliding and soaring up again and uses: thermal flight, designed on spirals, on the body of warm currents; ridge flight - supported on the wind flow, when slopes are encountered forcing the pilot to lift to overcome hills - and the more difficult wave flight, created by "surfing" on shifting air movements which travel through the "combs" of mountain chains.
Thanks to Aero Club Valle d'Aosta, glider pilots are able to fly year round. Specific internships and various courses are organised for non-members; in spring seminars are held on wave flight techniques, where dozens of crews from all over Europe take part. Valle d'Aosta's weather conditions are particularly favourable for sailflying, which here offer truly thrilling passages and flight paths; actually, Aosta's airport is located a short distance (20-30 km as the crow flies) from the impressive rocky masses of 2 of Europe's main mountains: Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.
With a little high-altitude wind, wave phenomena are created which extend to the stratosphere. This special condition, although frequent, has led to numerous Italian flight ascent records. Breathtaking sequences, cut on the profiles of mountain ridges, ice seas and grassy stretches which cling to slopes, gliding under a bright blue sky, make flying in Valle d'Aosta thrilling and unforgettable. Information on reservation procedures, course schedules, weather, activities and flight environments can be obtained on the website: www.aecaosta.it - sailflying section