First SIV course – Meet Maxime Gilbert

Maxime, pilot since September 2019, started his practice with the UFO (single skin initiation course at Flyeo) and then switched to a Susi.

Today under the Airdesign Soar with a SupAir Strike cocoon, he ventures to Flyeo for his first SIV course with Fabien Blanco.

  • First day of SIV in your life as a pilot, could you tell us about your motivations for doing this type of course?

Fabien Blanco has been following me since I started flying a year ago, and we quickly discussed the need to do this type of course as part of a pilot’s progression, after spending a few hours in the air observing and experiencing various situations.
My personal motivations are the following:

  • To kill fears, apprehensions and imaginations that distort the reality of the situation in flight and therefore make my reactions inappropriate.
  • To better understand my wing, its movements outside the flight envelope and to understand the amplitude of the controls and movements.
  • To experience “critical” situations (such as collapses) in an environment adapted to observation and accompanied by Fabien, in order to better recognise them and to get out of them efficiently when they occur in cross country.
  • Did you find it difficult to do the manoeuvres required? Any particular apprehension?

I was very apprehensive about this course. It was a surprising mixture of desire and fear. The hardest part was daring to take off for my first run, then honestly everything went very well, without violence or over-stress. You have to be concentrated to get the best out of each flight but Fab completely erases the anxiety of this kind of exercise thanks to his radio accompaniment and his presence on the ground.
I had no difficulty in carrying out the simple manoeuvres on this first day but each exercise required me to spend some time observing before being able to act. I think it’s linked to the way I learn and that everyone is different.

  • How did you feel about the first autorotations and accelerated collapses?

It was my very first autorotation today and we did several collapses before practicing, which made it a lot less stressful. You can feel the acceleration but the best thing is that once you recognise the situation, you realise that you can also get out of it quickly.

For accelerated collapses, the most brutal for me was the frontal, but once again, once the observation phase is over, if the situation is recognised you learn by active piloting to re-open the wing quickly (faster than if you let the wing re-open alone, which can be interesting in accelerated paths close to the ground). It will still require a lot of training but it’s starting to sink in.

  • A rather cross country profile then, do you think that Flyeo has succeeded in giving you new keys for your next long flights?

Certainly, thanks to this day spent with the Flyeo team and guided by Fabien, I’ve added new situations to my ‘catalogue of situations to recognise’ so that I can be reactive and fair in my piloting if it should happen in cross-country. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, to repeat these situations in order to refine the piloting, so that it is no longer just a mechanical response, but a precise dosage according to the situation and the wing’s feedback.

  • I have the impression that the school will soon see you again for a next SIV, a goal for future runs over the lake?

Yes, we’re going back with a group of pilot friends next week for 3 days and I can’t wait! We will continue with the flight incidents, in order, as I said above, to refine the recognition of situations and piloting, and then we will certainly look at dynamic collapses, perhaps wings and / or stalls.

  • Thank you for helping to demystify the SIV courses, a word to add for the new pilots who are still hesitating to take off for a SIV?

I wish all young pilots the chance to do an SIV. It is a privileged moment to learn, understand and demystify many of the situations that we encounter in flight.
To speak more specifically about the SIVs offered by Flyeo, I believe that Fab has acquired, in addition to his immense know-how, an experience with his students that allows him to help each pilot progress at his own pace. He knows when to push us and when to hold us back, and has the right words, which completely removes the violent nature of the exercises proposed.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer this interview.
Have fun at the next SIV and see you soon!


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