It’s a hard day for all the people in the world who love adventure and the freedom that only mountains can do.
We are here to remember a great man who make the story of the flying and for it he’s tragically died on a sunny sunday of spring.
Sunday 26 2006, Angelo d'Arrigo crashed with an airplane and his spirit fly away from us.
He has flown all over the world. He has flown across seas, deserts, volcanoes, glaciers and mountain chains in some of the remotest parts of the planet, flying with eagles and all kinds of birds of prey.
He was a licensed instructor for hang-gliders and paragliders, a ski instructor and Alpine guide, and he make a living from his passions in life, flying more of 15,000 hours.
Angelo took naturally to observing, studying and imitating the instinctive flight of the great gliders, and he was the pioneer of the project called "Metamorphosis": to fly with the Earth's great birds, by taking advantage of ascending currents like they do and thus drifting for long periods by using the energy at high altitudes to move in long glides. By following desert hawks he became the first man to cross the Sahara and the Mediterranean in free flight without using an engine, he crossed Siberia with Siberian cranes and, more recently, in the Himalayas on May 24 th 2004 he flew over Everest, the highest mountain in the world, with Himalayan eagles and at last he flew over world’s second largest mountain chain, The Andes, world’s second largest mountain chain: The Andes with Condor, is the most advanced bird of prey in the world. He makes the fly on December 31 2005 flying across the Aconcagua, from Buenos Aires to Santiago.
Taski Delek Angelo, from all the people who loved you.
In love with birds, the “Metamorphosis project”
In 2001, he began the “Metamorphosis project”: flying along the route of migratory hawks in all the continents of uor planet.
The first was the Saharan migration. With an eagle, called Nike, he crossed the Sahara desert, like the eagles do it every spring from the heart of the Sahara, crossing the Mediterranean until they reach northern Europe.
It was the first time that a man traveled with them along this route in free flight crossing over the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea.
In 2002 was born in collaboration with the Russian Research Institute for Nature and Protection in Moscow the project called “Siberian migration”. The aim was to reintroduce the Siberian crane, a species of bird facing extinction, back to its natural habitat. D’arrigo helped and leaded a flock of Siberian cranes, a species born in captivity and facing extinction, for 5,300 kilometres from the ice-cap in the Arctic Circle to the Caspian Sea on the Iranian plateau after crossing Siberia. This fly finished in winter 2002 after six months.
Siberian Migration became the longest glider flight in history but, at first, was a flight for the rebirth of a nearly extinct species.
In 2004 he was the first man who crossed the Everest at an altitude near 9,000 m. for about 4 hours at temperatures around -50 °C traveling at speeds of 200 km H. During this expedition, he reintroduced a Himalayan eagle born in captivity back into the Everest valley to re-launch this nearly extinct species to the Himalayas , its natural environment.
In december 2005 he plans to cross the world’s second largest mountain chain: The Andes in the project to free fly over the world’s highest mountains, simulating large migratory birds. This last fly was on the way mode of the condor, He flyed between Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Santiago (Chile).
In this fly he has recorded sightings of the condor reaching heights of over 10,000 m.
In volo sopra il mondo
In 2005 he edit a book “In volo sopra il mondo” where he talk about his experience over the free flying and about his love for prey birds.
The dream never die, Angelo D'arrigo's condors Inca and Maya are still flying
Dreams never die. Angelo d'Arrigo was deeply involved in a project to reintroduce condors, one of the three sacred animals of the Inca culture, along with snakes and pumas, into the land where the Inca culture was born.
The project continues, as Angelo's wife Laura Mancuso and the project team wishes.
Inca and Maya, the condors that Angelo imprinted and raised under the wings of his especially constructed hang-glinder, subsequently teaching them to fly, will arrive in the Andes from Italy.
Base camp is to be established in the Sagrata Valley, near Machu Pichu.
The project has been overseen by Prof. Danilo Mainardi, world famous researcher into animal behaviour and Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University Cà Foscari in Venice, Italy.
The team leaves Italy on 2 July, and plans to come back on 24 July.
From the words of his wife:
21 July was the great day, the day when the condors Inca and Maya regain their liberty in this incredible habitat is a little veiled with a sense of sadness and melancholy.
As we watch them soar in the immense valley where Angelo had imagined them, our thoughts turn to him, to his love for Nature, to his profound sense of freedom, to his nature which acknowledged neither frontiers nor barriers.
And we think of everything he left us: his greatness, his humanity, together with Inca and Maya, the yearling condors he left us to take home.
We did it for them. And, Angelo, we did it for you. And we miss you that much more.
I should like to thank the whole team for the professionalism and the passion that they each brought to this project. And above all for the support they gave me in moments of sadness. And Gabriele and Ivan, dragged into an adventure that they had not chosen, but which they nevertheless have lived with serenity.
And Gioela, Giusy, Alda, Nino, Pina, Mirella, Richard, Angelo's parents and mine, who in sadness and in joy, in anxiety and in trepidation have followed each and every moment of this adventure which is so suffused with the memory of Angelo.
To all the friends at the Fondazione Angelo d'Arrigo, who have continued to work and support us throughout, I say a heartfelt thanks.