Former Frecce Tricolori solo pilot explains why he moved to air transport

Frecce Tricolori Capodanno 31 Stormo
Former Frecce Tricolori solo pilot Cap. Fabio Capodanno.

The Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera" recently published an interesting interview with the former solo pilot of the Frecce Tricolori, Captain Fabio Capodanno.

Capodanno told journalist Rinaldo Frignani that at the end of his experience with the aerobatic team, he decided to make a radical change from combat aircraft to transport aircraft. Capodanno joined the Italian Air Force in 1999 as an AMX combat aircraft pilot at the 32nd Wing at the Amendola air base, Southern Italy, before joining the Frecce Tricolori in 2006 where he remained until 2015.

Capodanno said that he is very happy to wake up in the middle of the night to make a medical flight because he knows that he will save a child and this new role helps his inner growth. He decided to try something different after watching parents suffer for their child who was going through a transplant.

Today the 31st Wing at the Rome Ciampino airport has become his new home. The 31st Wing is the unit of the Italian Air Force which has the task of carrying out medical, humanitarian and VIP flights. According to Corriere della Sera, the three transport squadrons of the Italian Air Force (31st Wing, 14th Wing and 46th Air Brigade) carried out 115 medical flights in 2018 and about half of them included children and infants up to three years of age. In 2019, they have already made seven flights.

Capodanno underlined that even his current Squadron operates in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert), the crew must be available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and as soon as the telephone rings they must take off within two hours. He said that there is silence on board during the flight, but he perceives the suffering of the people who in a few hours had to take a plane to take a very sick relative to a better equipped hospital than the previous one. Capodanno said the crew tries not to interact with relatives on board so as not to invade their privacy, but his Squadron often receives letters of appreciation for the work done and this is one of the best moments of his new assignment.

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Written by Matteo Sanzani

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