celebrates arrival to EAA AirVenture. Pictured here left to
right are Victor Yancovitz, Ricardo Stipp, Antonio Nallin, Jairo
Yancovitz, Paulo Pizzato, Diogo Luz, Roberto Aparecido Rodrigues
de Brito and Raul Federico Fernandez del Pino. Photo courtesy
The Brazilian Air Team
What's the first thing you would do if
you just took delivery of a brand new airplane? If you said you were
flying it to Oshkosh, no pilot would be surprised.
That is until you mention the flight
would cover more than 5,500 nautical miles over the grasslands of
Brazil, the Caribbean Ocean, and the trailing edge of a tropical storm.
Well, that is exactly what Ricardo Stipp
did with his RV-10. He is one of eight pilots calling themselves the
Brazilian Airteam that flew three RV-10s from Sao Paolo to Oshkosh for
Planning for the trip began on the drive
from Oshkosh to Chicago after AirVenture 2009.
Victor Yancovitz, EAA #1025067, and his
father Jairo, attended last year with Roberto Aparecido Rodrigues de
Brito ("Beto") and his son.
"Can you imagine coming next year in
our own plane?" Victor asked his father.
At the time, Jairo and his friend Antonio
Nallin, who claims to be "the most beautiful pilot in Brazil,"
(it's a matter of opinion) were expecting delivery of two RV-10s that
were being assembled at a Vans plant in Brazil.
"The first thing we did when we got
back to Brazil was to select good people to come with us," said
In addition to Victor, Jairo, Beto and
Nallin (several of the team members prefer to be called by their last
names), the pilots recruited their friends Diogo Luz, Paulo Pizzato,
Raul Federico Fernandez del Pino, and Ricardo Stipp.
Before attending AirVenture 2010, only
two of the eight were EAA members, but the other six joined after they
arrived in Oshkosh.
All eight men are pilots and have known
each other for years, often flying together on small trips.
Planning began in earnest about five months ago. The group met every
two to three weeks to go over their preparations.
Pizzato, a former airline and corporate
pilot with more than 23,000 hours, was responsible for the flight plan.
Victor, a 20-year CFI, handled the paperwork necessary to land in four
he aircraft didn't have any special
modifications-other than auxiliary tanks.
One RV-10 was built with extended range
tanks, which hold 85 gallons of fuel. The other two aircraft hold the
standard 60 gallons fuel and another 30 gallons in the aux tanks.
In addition to flying Jairo and Nallin's
planes, the plan was to fly Roberto's RV-10. But it wasn't ready yet, so
Ricardo agreed to fly his. He took delivery one week before the trip and
he and Victor spent 12 to 13 hours flight testing the plane to make sure
it would perform.
The flight took about 33 hours of flying
time over five days. The group departed Sao Paolo on Monday, July 19
enroute to Gurupi in the middle of Brazil and then went on to Belem.
Pizzato chose a route over grasslands and plantations to avoid flying
over the Amazon rain forest.
Day two took the RV-10s from Belem in
northern Brazil to French Guyana and then to the island of Grenada.
"Everything went fine, there were
clear skies all the way," said Victor.
Day three is where the trip began to get
The plan was to fly to St. Martin, but
they chose to fly a little farther and land in St. Thomas. Although, it
was listed as an alternate landing site, U.S. Customs didn't get the
paperwork, so the group spent some time working things out.
The red tape turned out to be the easiest
part of the day.
Stormy weather, undampened
On the next leg, from St. Thomas to Turks and Caicos, the group
caught up with the tail of Tropical Storm Bonnie.
Those 15 minutes as they descended to
Providenciales were the most difficult of the trip as they flew through
solid IFR conditions, landing in a driving rain, a 400 foot ceiling, low
visibility-and a 30-knot crosswind.
After spending a day in Turks and Caicos,
the group continued without Pizzato. He holds an Italian passport and
may land in the United States without a visa if he flies commercially,
but needs a visa if he enters the country in a general aviation
So he flew American Airlines to Miami and
then was forced to take a 3-hour Greyhound bus ride to Ft. Pierce to
meet the group, as the airport didn't have any rental cars available.
Once the Brazilian Airteam was reunited,
they continued to Terre Haute, Indiana, where they spent the night
before completing their journey to Oshkosh on Saturday, July 24.