1. Why the Corsair?
It wasn’t a choice. I had an opportunity to fly with friends, and was given to fly the Corsair in 1996. It was a gift from a friend. You never really choose such an aircraft.
2. When do you plan to retire, so I can apply for the job?
When life gives you an opportunity like this – to fly in such an environment, you never at any moment think of retiring. It’s not a job. It is a privilege.
3. Eric, do you feel like a fighter pilot when flying?
I was in the French air force years ago. By flying this plane in airshows, I do get the same feeling as back then. The machine is a real extension of the spirit.
4. Ever get scared that the wings will fold up in mid-flight?
No, because the aircraft was meticulously designed. Don’t forget, this machine was initially commissioned for war in the Pacific.
5. Do you sometimes feel like you went back in time while flying the Corsair?
To be honest, back then, guys were young, inexperienced and flew in real military operations. Conditions were really tough – they had to deal with plenty of stress. Nowadays, we fly these machines in airshows in complete safety, and use only basic maneuvers.
6. Are there any special skills required for flying the Corsair?
This plane is built for the extremes. It’s able to go fast but also very slow, with a large trimming range. It’s also very powerful with plenty of torque and a significant gyroscopic effect of the propeller. You need to have a highly developed sense of how to handle these effects.
7. How’s the landing visibility?
Visibility is okay. Nowadays we land this plane with the nose lower, because we’re never required to land on small restrictive runways. We also have better control of the plane, thanks to better speed regulation.
8. If you could fly any war bird, which one would you choose?
Just because it's so much of a dream, I would say the ME-262. It’s a must.