1st aviation web TV
Video reports on aviation news
 Choose your language

> > > Helicopters > Pierre Bergé: "Helicopters are part of me"

Video - Pierre Bergé: "Helicopters are part of me"

- By

Pierre Bergé hello

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Hello.

Thank you for receiving us here at the headquarters of the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation in Paris, over which you preside. We know you, Pierre Bergé, from your activities in the cultural and political arenas, but we know you much less as a helicopter pilot, and, thankyou, this is why you have accepted our request for you to be interviewed by aeronewstv today. You own an Italian Agusta Westland AW-109. Do you still fly today, Pierre Bergé ?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Yes, of course.

So, at the age of 83 you still take the controls of a helicopter?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Yes, I do, although they insist that I be accompanied by a co-pilot now; at the beginning I was very... a little humiliated, but since then, I have seen the benefits.

When did this passion begin ? When did you get your helicopter license?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

It all started in 1976. I passed the written test at Orly, which I think everyone knows, and I was very proud because my pass mark was 19 out of 20. There are not many things, examinations and so forth, which I have obtained with those sort of marks.

And just where did this passion come from? Why did you want to fly?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

I don't know, it just happened. It started during a lunch with a friend, not very well dressed at the time, who told me he was an airline pilot, and of course stories about planes. Then at the end of the lunch, he said, "You know, if I were to start over again, I wouldn't be involved with 'planes at all, because it serves no purpose - in the Paris region, it's useless", he went on.

But the helicopter's more practical.

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

To finish the  story he said, "If I were to start afresh, I would fly helicopters, now THAT'S REALLY something, blah blah blah, blah blah blah". Two or three days later, I called him to thank him for the lunch and I asked him if he knew a helicopter instructor. That's where it really all began; subsequently, I bought a helicopter, a JetRanger.

And that was your first helicopter?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

- That was my first helicopter. My second was a Gazelle. But then someone dynamited it - blew it up in fact... in... I can't remember the year, maybe 1978, at 0 hours, 0 seconds, on the first of January. So I knew that it wasn't me that they were after, it was the helicopter, and it was probably someone from Issy-les-Moulineaux [ a southwestern suburban area of Paris, 6.5km ( 4miles ) from Notre-Dame Church ], because at the time my helicopter was parked there outside.

And you never found out who ?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

We never found out. Afterwards I bought a Ecureuil Mono, and following that, an Ecureuil Bi. After which, I returned to the Gazelle, and finally I bought an Agusta.

And what were the deciding factors in these choices of aircraft ?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Until the Agusta, I chose them because ... The first because it was because it was up for sale. The Gazelle because it's a mythical aircraft. I must say to those who are listening, that the Gazelle is the Ferrari of helicopters. It's small and very fast, which slides around, like that, all over the place, and as much joy to fly, or rather drive, as a sports car. After that, the Ecureuils are more, let's say, classic, they're French, and very good. And the latest, because with the Agusta, you get into it like a car; unlike the Dauphin, where you have to be almost a mountaineer to climb aboard, or a hardened veteran, which is no longer my case.

What pleasure do you get out of flying Pierre Bergé ?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

I feel really great, when you're up there, you're responsible for everything. When you say to yourself - I don't know - you must be careful, that you can't lose sight of the horizon for one second ... Helicopter's are part of me; you know, I've been a helicopter pilot now for 35 years.

And yet the helicopter is much more difficult.

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Yes, that 's what they say. They say two things : that the helicopter is difficult and that the helicopter is dangerous. I say that it's the pilots that are dangerous, not the helicopters ... And, as I'm sure you are aware, the helicopter is not something you can, or should, show off in, just to impress a girlfriend or boyfriend. To be a very good helicopter pilot, you need two things : to be a very good pilot of course, but not only that, you need to be serious about what you're doing.

Is piloting a passion for you or simply a useful skill ?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Both.

Nowadays, your helicopter, Pierre Bergé, do you keep it near Paris ?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Yes, of course, at Issy-les-Moulineaux, with a permanent Hangarage and apron parking rights, permanent ... The French don't understand anything, and the French authorities even less ...

Why ?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Because all they dream about is getting their hands on this airport. That's all they dream of. All foreign cities are developing the helicopter.

We talk about the noise problems from helicopters.

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

- Is there more noise pollution here than in London !?! Is it noisier here than in New York !?! Come on. Let's stop all this nonsense !

So, for you it's finally a question of political will ?

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

It's a question of political will ...

Thank you.

Pierre Bergé :Yves Saint Laurent Foundation

Thank you.

Thank you, Pierre Bergé.

Your comments
    Be the first one to post a comment
    Leave a comment

    Input limited to 1000 characters

    Enter the characters represented on the image below.
    This field is not case sensitive.


    * Required fields

      Publicité :Safran-2017
      Spot’Air weekly photo Airbus A330 Neo - first flight

      Your latest comments

      New Events