76. I’m Flying My Helicopter…

Roberto Cavalli with Lupo76. I’m flying my I-OETE helicopter. I just left Milan and am heading to Florence.

Lupo is with me, of course, lying asleep on the rear seats.

Despite the poor weather conditions I have had to leave Milan because of some important meetings in Florence. According to the weather forecast I may run into a few storms, which I will try to fly around. The prospect of low clouds and fog worries me more because they reduce visibility!

I have already passed Milan… dark clouds cover the city… I pass around them, but now heavy rain is beating on the glass with a loss of visibility… must keep an eye on the instruments… I am over the River PO now… very low clouds… weather conditions are getting better… but remain variable… a flash of blue sky, but right now the wind is increasing.

I clasp my hands on the joystick. I see Piacenza on my right covered by low black clouds… in order not to lose contact with the ground I follow the highway… an accident below… I see a long line of stationary cars.Roberto Cavalli

A spot of sunshine but the worst is yet to come… before reaching Florence, I have to cross the Apennines… I will try to flight through the gorges… I fear the low clouds, but if I fly higher I fear the strong winds… I decide moment by moment… the weather is just too variable… too crazy!Roberto Cavalli

I begin to glimpse the Apennines. I’ll let you relive this trip with Lupo through the pictures I’m taking with the iPhone on my left hand… my right hand is engaged with the joystick. Lupo perceives my predicament and rests his head on my arm, I have no time to caress and soothe him!

Now I am starting to cross the Apennines… drenching rain… I leave Reggio Emilia on my left… rain and the wind are increasing… not afraid… in my opinion the helicopter is safer than a plane… worst case scenario?… I can touch down in some field and wait for the weather to improve! I have done this before when I found myself involved in a heavy hail storm!Roberto Cavalli

As I gain altitude to get over the mountains so the weather improves… I see Lupo is quieter… he is so used to flying with me… he shares my joys and sorrows. I sing victory too soon… I see big clouds on the horizon. If I lose visibility I will go back and fly over the highway.

How wonderful! I’ve done this trip a thousand times in all weather conditions but it always moves me! On the highest peaks, there is still a bit of snow… the rain is increasing and visibility decreasing… I’m beginning to slow down… shit!.. I can hardly see a thing… I move to the left, leaving my course and I start looking for a passage through the mountains, I MUST HAVE VISIBILITY, otherwise I have to go back… I see the highway… It’s my reference point… no way… I go back and try again from Porretta… perhaps the clouds have thinned out there, otherwise I shall land in a field and wait for it to stop raining!

I see the silhouette of a mountain on my right and see the railroad below me… I know this passage… if I see the valley behind that crossing, it’s the end of my trouble!Roberto Cavalli

Done… I see Pistoia… there, I did it! I should not accept these risky situations, even though I love the adventure, I have to think about the people who love me and still need me.

I see my factory, I circle overhead so they can hear the noise of the helicopter and know that I have arrived safely. They are anxious because I am an hour late and they haven’t heard from me.

All’s well that ends well!

Have you ever experienced the thrill of flying in a helicopter?
I’m also curious to know if there is a helicopter pilot among my readers…

Un bacino a tutti!
Roberto Cavalli
Roberto Cavalli's helicopter

13 replies
  1. Angelica Mihaela Luculescu
    Angelica Mihaela Luculescu says:

    Dear Roberto,
    Thank you for the beautiful blog you have, for the time you are investing in it and for letting us have a glimpse of your life routine.
    My family owns a small airport (gliderport) in Clermont, Florida and we would love to have you visit us whenever your way may take you to the United States!
    I have added the website to the comment.
    With Love, from Romania,
    Angelica Mihaela

  2. CAVALLINO (massimo fan n°1)
    CAVALLINO (massimo fan n°1) says:

    Ciao Roberto! Anche oggi mi hai fatto emozionare… che bella la foto con Lupo!! No non sono mai stato in elicottero e tanto meno pilota…che pauraaaa TI AMOOOOO

  3. Frøydis Gambino
    Frøydis Gambino says:

    Buonaser Mr Cavalli, non sono mai stato in un elicottero,ho paura dell altezza.Vado spesso con aereo ma ho sempre paura.La mia passione e stare al mare .Vado spesso con la nave e bellisssimo. Buona serata Tanti saluti da Frøydis Al Nord

  4. Isabel martins
    Isabel martins says:

    I love your blog…love your work! I´m also designer but in Portugal things are not very famous! I have some friends here, that work for you…and they do their job very well! It´s one of the good factories in this small place! Wish you the best!Thanks for sharing your photos…very beautifull!

  5. Mohini
    Mohini says:

    Bravo!!!Mr.Cavali,my heart kept pounding all throughout while I was reading yr blog….what an experience!!!The pics r awesome…I could feel as if I was there with u flying in the same helicopter…one honestly needs a lot of courage to do so…knowing that you’ve done it many times before …you honestly deserve a salute from me.
    Still a struggling Designer with dreams of meeting u some day.

  6. Francesco
    Francesco says:

    Grande Cavalli….!!
    Pure Pilota di Elicottero….Che fenomeno!!
    C’è Lupo ha una faccia nella foto….deve essere stata davero dura! Ma che ganzo,parli dell’elicottero come se fosse una macchina! Non deve essere facile pilotare un elicottero, specialmente quando non c’è bel tempo….io un pò di paura l’avrei devo ammettero.
    Riguardo al pilota…io guido il CIAO della piaggio, conta? 🙂
    Un Abbraccio.

  7. babak
    babak says:

    Dear Roberto,
    we still need you and your ingenuti for the next 1000 years.
    all the best wishes from tehran/iran.
    please do be careful with the heli.

  8. Ruggero Vegnaduzzo
    Ruggero Vegnaduzzo says:

    Stô facendo il brevetto con il Syton a turbina .È un elicottero ultraleggero, ma mi piace moltissimo, specialmente il rumore. Ho guidato di tutto ma l’elicottero ritengo sia la massima espressione di piacere di guidare. Ieri ho visto il G IGIA di Marzotto e ho parlato con lui, persona splendida, oggi ti ho letto, siete delle persone incredibili, tu perô con questo voletto ….. Grande. Ciao

  9. Anthony Wilaon
    Anthony Wilaon says:


    I saw your helicopter, I-OETE, on the Discovery Channel programme about Bear Grylls and Stephen Fry on the Dolomite mountains. It was unseasonal summer weather and you couldn’t actually land; you had to hover and drop them off.


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