On this day we want to remember a great man, who lived in our same village and who, exactly 15 years ago, died during one of his challenges.
Angelo D’Arrigo was born in Catania on April 3rd, in 1961, but he lived in Paris until 1984. His dream has always been to fly like birds and with them. D’Arrigo was a world flight champion. In 2004 he flew over Everest for the first time with a hang glider. He prepared for this feat for two years and the flight lasted 4 hours. He was called “man who flew with eagles” because he taught birds raised in captivity to fly.
At the age of 16, Angelo began his flying activity on the French Alps. It was his out-of-class character that made him conquer free and ultra light flying. Graduated from the University of Sport in Paris in 1981, after having obtained the patents of free flight instructor with hang gliding and paragliding, alpine guide and ski instructor, he distinguished himself in international competitions by winning world and European free flight championships.
After 10 years he decided to stop his projects and started another one, the “Metamorphosis”, which consisted in saving a breed of birds that was dying out. So he abandoned the competitive circuit dedicating himself to works that combined his passion for flight with scientific research on aeronautics and on migratory birds, setting various world records for unmanned flight crossing.
Angelo died at the age of 44 during a flight demonstration. His wife Laura Mancuso created a foundation in memory of her husband, dedicated to charity. For some time in the recent past there was a discussion about the possibility to name the Internation Airport of Catania after him, in connection with the importance of this man, his feats in flying but at the end “Vincenzo Bellini” was the final verdict.
Today, we want to remember Angelo D’Arrigo, “an angel among clouds”, also through some of his famous phrases.
He said: “I would like to fly over the highest mountains in the world as birds do during their migrations. They have no mask, no oxygen, no GPS; they have it all in their instincts. An instinct that I am convinced we also have if we train it well”.
“A dream born from a great desire: the great desire to fly and discover other horizons towards which to go. For me this is the adventure”.
Also, “I believe my adventures represent humanity’s dream. I am happy to fly every day, riding the meteorological waves of the sky and the wind: this allows me to live my dream every day.
Psychophysical preparation is fundamental: the tool we have for business is our body, and this is managed by our mind. Everything in our organism must function like an orchestra: they are elements that must be agreed upon”.
Finally, “Man has the faculty of being able to accomplish many things. An eagle flies but does not go underwater, a fish swim but does not climb. Man has the faculty of being polyvalent: it is a poetic beauty to be able to engage in these activities”.
And like a poet, this Man will always live in our memories…