French aerobatics team gives perspective on World Championships

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

DENISON, TEXAS -- They make it look easy, but there's precise techniques behind these flawless maneuvers. One of the teams that understands that well is the award-winning French aerobatics team.

"When I flew it once, I said, 'Wow, I want it more,'" Kathel Boulanger said.

French competitor Boulanger began flying at age 14 and soon discovered her dream of being an aerobatic pilot. Today she's flying on a world stage, as she's earned her place to compete with the French.

"I can't really believe it but I'm pleased, of course," Boulanger said.

2013 French aerobatic champion Francois Le Vot and Pierre Varloteaux are members of the French Air Force. It's their job to compete in -- and win -- these aerobatic championships for France.

"We feel very useful doing it, for ourselves and for our country, obviously, and our unit in the Air Force," Le Vot said.

But while they're in Texas, they're also taking time away from the competition to experience the state.

"We've just been meeting so many animals we don't have in Europe. Like, uh, yesterday we got, uh, this, I don't know, a huge turtle, very aggressive one, and so we played with it," Boulanger said.

Their main focus is on beating their rivals -- the U.S. And Russia, and to keep their heads in the game, they're reminding themselves of the feeling of flying, and why they got into the sport in the first place.

"The feeling is just freedom. Freedom, and that's all. You just enjoy," Boulanger said.

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