(coloro con notizie da aggiungere me le mandino per email)
I have heard from foreign pilots every sort of horror stories about flying in Italy and why they dont want to visit our country.
Most of these stories are hearsay, second hand info, or outright BS.
i heard some saying that italians are crazy and fly accordingly, ignoring all rules and common sense. it is not so, even if we indeed ignore some stupid rule. ULM scene in italy is great, lots of competent people, and you will be amazed by the quality and level of airfields, pilots and airplanes.
So i thought about writing this HOW TO guide, because folks, you are all wrong. Italy is a great place for flying, there are many wonderful places, many fantastic airfields with great and friendly people in them, and a flying holiday in italy is something you will never regret, and when you will do it, you will kick yourself for not having done it before.
No need to mention that italy has some of the nicest coasts, landscapes, cities and monuments of the entire world.
Indeed we have some silly rules, like max altitude of 500ft AGL in weekdays, but many of these rules can be bent, some can be broken. Some can't be bent or broken at all, unfortunately you wont find these info on the AIP or in NOTAM. so keep reading.
So, you want to fly into Italy with your ML/ULM airplane, therefore you are most likely flying under FPL, with radio and transponder and so on.
italian ATC usually refuse any service as soon as they know you are a ULM, however most italian ATC wont recognize foreign registered ML/ULM as such, and will supply info and services like you are a "real" airplane.
Once you have reached the destination of your entry flight, close the FPL, and from now on you will be flying like an italian ML/ULM, which has downsides but also advantages, so bear with me.
Most italian airports dont accept ULM at all. there are an handful which do, but just to avoid risks and unless you have reliable informations about a specific one, avoid airports even as entry point of your trip, because you might have to bring your ULM out of the airfield on a lorry...avoid like the plague airports with commercial traffic. also, most airports dont have fuel and you wont be allowed to bring fuel in from the petrol station. they also have appallingly slow and expensive bureaucracy. go instead to one of the hundreds of ULM airstrips active in italy.
there are three types of airfields in italy: airports, aviosuperfici and ULM airstrips. We already said about airports, just ignore them. Aviosuperficie is an italian thing, is a hybrid between an airport and an airstrip, GA is allowed as well as ULM (usually), no bureaucracy, no landing fees, friendly people and usually runways of decent lenght; there are around 100 of them in italy. there are then another 400ish airstrips, where GA is not allowed, rwy lenght varies from nothing to kilometers, facilities also vary a lot, from nothing to fuel, workshop, hangar, hotel, restaurant, golf course, beach, camping, bicycles or scooters etc.
virtually no airfield requires PPR.
many airfields have fuel and most can get it for you if you call in advance. some have avgas and/or mogas pumps. avgas can be horrendously expensive in italy.
from now on you are an italian ULM, so no radio, no ATC contact, no XPNDR, no nothing. a good chance to enjoy the view and take good photos.
in theory altitude is limited to 500ft AGL in weekdays and 1000 in weekends and holidays. however, it is a silly rule and my advice is to fly around 1000ft agl or so, or even higher in scarcely populated areas like the south. keep your eyes open mostly for other ULM expecially in weekends, and the occasional GA airplane also in weekends. not many of those and they tend not to look much outside. listen to the local frequency for traffic info, even if most of it will be in italian.
the general frequency for ULM communication is 130.00, which is next to useless because of the continuous chatter. use it to make blind calls when approaching an airstrip, unless it has a proper freq, which you can find in the airfields directory (see links below)
ULM should not fly inside CTR's, however some are so insanely big that this is impractical when not outright impossible. some CTR are "sacre" so dont enter them, you can find a list at the bottom and later on. for example, LIML CTR1 (the portion of CTR that starts from SFC) is better left alone. Others are more permeable, keeping eyes open. a good rule of thumb is the following : if there are ULM airstrips in a CTR1, then it is permeable, if not, steer clear of it.
Avoid P and R areas, even if most are there since decades without any real reason. if you feel brave and your callsign doesnt clearly sounds ULM (dont declare ULAC as type descriptor) , call an ATC to ask if the R is active or not.
some CTR are military and inactive during weekends, even thought this is unofficial. look at the list below for more info.
CTR non active during weekend:
other military CTR
best website for italian meteo http://www.ilmeteo.it
low level significant weather http://www.meteoam.it/carte/bassiStrati/FUXX__00.GIF
(change 00 in 06,12 or 18 for the different maps relative to the different 6 hours intervals)
file GPX to download with all italian airfieldhttp://www.ulm.it/hangar/mix/mnulm/arfhtm/downl/campiArf100420_gpx.zip
PDF with all airfieldshttp://www.ulm.it/hangar/mix/mnulm/arfhtm/downl/listacampiArf+aerop100420.pdf
to be continued