The Patrouille de France aerobatic flight display team is faced with new challenges every year : each annual intake of nine experienced pilots has six months to learn an aerobatics routine where they fly in formation a few metres from each other at ground level. In every intake there is a career officer who, now has to learn to encourage group cohesion rather than to enforce his own decisions. These are two of the necessary conditions for their aerobatic aerial show which is intended to appeal to a wide variety of spectators, amateurs and professionals as well as those who are new to the sport. The Patrouille de France is able to rise to these challenges on an annual basis because its organisation is as regular as clockwork. This enables the show’s squadron leader to prepare himself for his role, and for the teams to develop the crucial unity necessary. The pilots live together 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for six months of the year, and the precision of the flight performances requires both blind faith in the squadron leader as well as knowing his flying and communication skills inside-out.
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This session was published in issue n°96 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Danse avec l'incertain.
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