Training Together

by Chloé Billon and Victor Bouchart on Feb 14 2020

Bonjour! We are Chloé Billon and Victor Bouchart and we're both cadets from the same class at the European Airline Academy in Ponte de Sor, Portugal. As it’s Valentine’s Day, the school invited us to share the story of how we met through aviation.

November 8th 2018, 09:00am. First day of pilot training at L3Harris. During the usual meet and greet amongst classmates, we found out that we’re from the same country, France, and that both of us had just graduated as Aeronautical Engineers. 10:30am. First classroom break and the first time that we speak to each other. From there on, one year and three months later, we were never separated.

The months of theory training were very intense, studying from 09:00am until closing time at the academy. During weekends, our dates weren't spent at the cinema or at the bar, but rather at the library. It was our strength of being together, in our sphere, sharing the same challenges and the same daily routine that helped us moving forward. We were always supporting each other, always together, until eventually our beloved Aircraft General Knowledge instructor gave us the nickname 'French lovebirds'.

As the weeks passed by, just before Christmas, on December 22nd, I, Chloé, lost my Grandfather. Being far away from my family, Victor was my best support. A shoulder to lean on and the person in who I knew that I could really trust.
One month and a half later, by a sad coincidence, I, Victor experienced exactly the same loss. Just before leaving to France to attend the ceremonies, we kissed for the first time, giving me the strength and happiness that I definitely missed at that time. Hence, unhappy events of life brought us even closer together.

First thought as being a training drawback, our relationship turned out to be very supportive.

With the theoretical part over, we had plenty of time to travel and fill our minds with so many happy memories. Sadly, that joy was marred when we learned that we were not placed in the same batch for the flying part, being split for the rest of our training. We guessed that this was just an area of turbulence that every pilot has to cope with... being a pilot couple is a situation that may be hard to manage, especially if you’re separated or not flying for the same company. But with a strong mutual trust and a bit of organization, everything is possible!

We dedicate our story, and our training at L3Harris, in memory of the two stars that left us far too early and to whom we'll be flying closer for the rest of our future careers as airline pilots.