Hello, I am Captain Carrire. I am Alpha Jet demonstration pilot since 2009, so this is my second year.
I will end my tour as demonstration pilot in October this year.
I was an instructor pilot for 3 years on Epsilon at Cognac, for 3 years on Tucano at Salon-de-Provence...
...and I flew Mirage 2000 for a while before becoming a flight instructor.
My name is Cdric Van Duynslager, callsign Willow, this is my first year as demonstration pilot together with Jim.
Before becoming an instructor at Tours, I flew Mirage F1CR at Reims and became vice squadron leader with the Savoie squadron, ...
...and now I am Alpha jet demonstration pilot.
As we are 2 pilots with a busy schedule this year, we split the demonstrations, for Biggin Hill for instance, I flew on Saturday, and Willow on Sunday.
We split the demonstration flights, and while one is flying, the second pilot stays on the ground and monitors the safety and whether the airspace is clear.
If something goes wrong or there are doubts, the second pilot can immediately intervene by radio.
We are both instructors at the Staneval squadron for standardization and evaluation. We assist all squadrons to standardize all procedures.
As instructors, we dont teach tactics at Tours. For pilot trainees, this is the first contact with a jet.
This means teaching them the basics of flying jet aircraft, certainly at the beginning of the programme.
After that period, towards the end of the training programme, we start teaching them some more tactical stuff,
...but this is mostly left to the Operational Transition School at Cazaux, where tactics make up 90% of the programme.
The Alpha Jet is excellent as a demonstration aircraft. It is a conventionally controlled aircraft, which makes it interesting,
...but thanks to its great handling capabilities, you have the impression it is actually fly-by-wire.
It gives ample warning before it leaves controlled flight, so it is like having a flight computer limiting the envelope.
The aircraft itself will shudder to signal stop if it gets near its limits.
This similarity with fly-by-wire aircraft makes it a very nice plane to pilot.
First of all, actually being selected and then attending airshows. It is an intensive training schedule, but you get great satisfaction from doing it
...and visiting shows all over Europe, like here at Biggin Hill where you can find an interesting programme...
...where the audience can see other interesting demonstrations after our presentation.
You also have the personal satisfaction, knowing you flew a good show, and its also great...
...when other people come to tell you what they liked about the demonstration or perhaps which parts they didnt really like.
The most interesting and at the same time most difficult manoeuvre is the turn with slow rolls.
A slow roll always requires perfect coordination between all inputs, and it becomes even more difficult when combining this with a turn...
...so that makes it one of the hardest moves in the show.