Alpe d'Huez flying man
November 23, 2005 11:05 PM   Subscribe

Henri Giraud was the first to land a plane on Mont Aiguille [41.4 MB mpg], on August 27th 1957 and on Mont Blanc [32.2 MB mpg] on June 23rd 1960. [more inside]
posted by tellurian (6 comments total)
This site also has some awesome videos of landings and takeoffs from other mountains (some are snow covered).
I couldn't find much information on Giraud in English so I've cobbled this together from French translations. Sorry if there are errors.
Henri Giraud obtained his pilot's licence when he was 17. During World War 2 at the age of 19 he was a military pilot in North Africa. He later become an instructor in 1945. Chief pilot at 26, he stayed fifteen years with the flying-club of Dauphiné. He then trained with Swiss pilot Hermann Geiger. Geiger correctly predicted that the pupil would exceed the master and would carry out what he himself wouldn't dare to do. Giraud later became the president and the secretary-general of the AFPM. He died on November 19, 1999.
posted by tellurian at 11:06 PM on November 23, 2005

Fascinating stuff. I can't see the actual landing part in the Mont Blanc video though! I just can't spot the plane on the summit. Can you see it?
posted by funambulist at 4:23 AM on November 24, 2005

Well funambulist, I went back and viewed it again and you're right! What happened was that I watched this clip which is over 100MB. On the page, directly underneath it was the clip I posted which was much smaller. I had started to view the smaller clip but around 2 minutes in I stopped it because it seemed to be the same. It isn't. It's a much cut down version, omitting the footage of the plane slip sliding onto the mountain. Sorry.
Oh.. and thanks for commenting, it sure is quiet around here on Thanksgiving. Maybe I should have posted on the front page about the clip that clearly shows Bush senior on the tarmac with W in his arms. I think they must have been in Switzerland for a Heads of State conference at Davos or something and gone for a day outing to the mountains. Anyway, you can see them standing there on the side of the runway and as the plane lands it gives George and bit of a surprise and I guess the ground is a bit icy and he loses his footing, like his legs go right out from under him and he drops W right on his head. All the security men come running over and Barbara is giving him a good telling off for not being more careful and stuff. Yeah.. maybe I should have posted that one.
posted by tellurian at 2:47 PM on November 24, 2005

Nice try -- while such an explanation is certainly plausible, the first Davos conference was 1971, when Dubya was 25.

No, wait, that's plausible too.
posted by dhartung at 10:31 PM on November 24, 2005

tellurian, thanks! the longer footage is amazing. And the takeoff is just as spectacular. I've yet to check the other videos on the AFPM page.

btw I found another page (always in French) about Giraud with some nice photos here.

Yeah.. maybe I should have posted that one

Yeah I guess... no come on don't be that bitter now. I can't be the only one that loved this?
posted by funambulist at 3:31 AM on November 25, 2005

funambulistulist: Not bitter, but unless we have we have click throughs we will never know.
Glad you liked it: me, funambulist, dhartung and puddinghead (runway junkie].
posted by tellurian at 6:38 AM on November 25, 2005

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