Revised  for The Aviation Magazine
Hire an NPS photographer
2012 Air Shows
Cervia Airshow 5 and 6, May 2012
Location: Cervia Seafront, Italy
Admission: FREE
Parking: on Ocean Drive, 1 Euro every 2 hours
Value: Excellent
Donate $25 and get free patch!
This small air show was intended as a celebration for the 100th anniversary of Milano Marittima (Milan-on-the-Sea). A nice holiday location on the Adriatic coast of Italy, very close to Cervia. The show was held above Cervia seafront and not Milano Marittima because the beach of Milano Marittima is too short to provide a safe venue for the event. Furthermore, Cervia has a strong link with aviation due to the airport located in the nearby, once the Base of the Italian Air Force 5th Wing (now sadly disbanded) and now home of the 15th Wing.
The show opened on Saturday afternoon with the display of a Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican MM80985/15-14 belonging to 15° Wing, based at Cervia: the old but trusty helicopter made a spirited display, with fast passes, hovering over water, to the recover of a downed pilot from the sea (the helicopter main role is Combat Search and Rescue, although will be replaced by the end of the year by the CSAR version of the EH-101 Merlin). Very interesting and unusual was the presence of a Nardi-Hughes NH-500 Defender turning and hovering around the Pelican during the display, being used as a camera ship and also to send information to the Pelican's pilot about the display parameters (in 2008 an Italian Army NH-90 crashed in the Trasimeno Lake during a display killing the 3 crewmembers because the pilot misjudged the height of the helicopter due the sun reflecting over water). When the two helicopters disappeared it was time for the stars of every Italian air shows, our beloved aerobatic team The Frecce Tricolori
The team has arrived on Friday afternoon from their home base at Rivolto and landed on Cervia Air Base, from where they took off for the displays at Cervia Airshow both on Saturday and Sunday. This was the first official display of the 2012 season outside their home base (the traditional start of the official season is always at Rivolto on May 1st) and is as usual a proving test for the new pilots of the team: for 2012 the new pilot is Number 9 Lieutenant Vigilio Gheser, a former AMX pilot of 32nd Wing at Amendola. The display on Saturday was absolutely stunning, the weather was perfect, clear air, blue sky with just a little clouds to give the right "deepness" to the scenario. The team performed with the usual precision on both days, the only difference was the use of white smoke only on Saturday instead of the usual red, white and green.
On Sunday the weather was very poor, with overcast and intermittent rain. The team made a perfect display anyway with the complete vertical routine despite the cloud cover. Sadly on Saturday there were few spectators present because there was little publicity about the show being held on two days, the situation was much better on Sunday but the weather didn’t cooperate. At the end of the Sunday display there was some traffic jam on Ocean Drive, but everything went well and in less than an hour all the spectators were on their way home (under the rain).
There were many food vendors around the beach so it was a good occasion to taste some of the local specialties. The show was very small with just a couple of performers, but the location is spectacular, the atmosphere is very relaxed, and there are plenty of things to see in and around.

We highly recommend this air show if you are planning to visit Cervia, Italy.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

 
Review and photography by Michele Giardini for AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC.
© 2012 www.airshowsreview.com All Rights Reserved.
All trade names, trademarks and manufacturer names are the property of their respective owners.