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The competition space

The Pavullo Airfield is located in the northern Apennine foothills in the Emilia region at an altitude of 684m above sea level. The Alpine arc and the intervening Po plain shields this region from the classic Central European weather formations. Northeast of the airfield, the terrain is almost at sea level and the air mass in this area is influenced by the Po Valley.

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Northern Italy with the competition area of the Apennine Mountains and the wide Po Riiver valley.

The adjoining hill country around Pavullo lies in the range between 400m to 1500m above sea level. The slopes are partly steep, but are still used for agriculture with many small fields. This hill country is almost completely developed with infrastructure, and the villages, houses and roads lead up to the summit of these hills. If you take a closer look, you can see isolated fields from the air, which could make potential landing sites. Most likely, however, the significant slope means they are emergency options only.

The landscape is carved by larger river valleys, which lead from the hills in the northeast to the plane. In the upper river courses, the valleys are narrow and the terrain is strongly sloped down to the riverbed. The closer you get to the plain, the wider the valleys and the bigger the flat fields and occasional airfield or ultralight landing spot.

Cavola is in this hill country 30km northwest of Pavullo and often produces excellent soaring conditions. Especially in marginal weather, many routes were flown as a yo-yo around this newly created airfield. The next landable areas were found only after long glides along the river valleys towards the plain, but they are almost at sea level.

The airfield itself is located in a bowl with hills between 600m and 900m, which made aerotowing and final approaches exciting.

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Relaxing  at Pavullo Airfield

About 30km southwest of the airfield, the middle hills turn into the main ridge, which is high at around 2,000m. One of the highest peaks in the region is Monte Cimone (2,165m). The south side of the main ridge drops steeply and flows relatively quickly into the Mediterranean Sea. This means that pressure gradients usually create a breeze system in which the air flow causes a convergence on the main ridge. During the day, the wind typically freshened up to around 20kph towards the main ridge.The humid air mass from the lowlands, however, usually provided a low cloud base and often makes the upper 500m of the main ridge disappear into clouds.

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One of the river  beds with a possible landing place marked

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Markus Uhlig
Fliegerclub Grossr├╝ckerswalde e.V.

Translated from German by computer software... with some help from Sean Young