An employee of the SNCF, he abandoned the railway and took off by becoming... a hot-air balloon pilot

Author: Clark Tos
2022-10-03 11:42:02

Portrait of a man who decided to fly on his own by becoming a hot-air balloon pilot.

From the rails to the sky, there is only one step that Clément Seigeot dared to take!

Former employee of SNCF , this 32-year-old man is now a hot air balloon pilot and is one of the 5 members of the French team, crowned world champion in the discipline on September 23 in Slovenia.

Already winner of the French championships in individual in 2017 and 2022, the native of Belfort has therefore added a line to his list, thus confirming his status.

This former SNCF employee has become one of the best hot air balloon pilots

A new atypical career far from the railways he used to survey when he worked in the maintenance of the SNCF in Lorraine. But this successful conversion is anything but a surprise.

Child of the ball or rather of the ball - his parents were piles -, Clément made his first flight at the age of 3 and then obtained his piloting diploma at the age of 17, as explained by our colleagues from Ouest France. This return to basics was therefore only a matter of time. Now a pilot, he has made his passion his profession and works alongside competitions.

As it is a seasonal job, he chose to practice in France (Auvergne) during the summer period and in Australia during the winter.

« I am employed in two companies. I offer first flights. Australians are very fond of it, even more than the French “, he explains to the Breton daily.

Photo credit: Istock

When he is not in his balloon making tourists dream, he takes part in competitions of hot air balloon , to satisfy this devouring passion.

« It's mostly driving competitions. We are judged on our accuracy. You should not try to go as far as possible or as high as possible', indicates Clément Seigeot who specifies that the pilots must reach crossing points by trying to « play with the currents ».

The wind, which is an ally, can nevertheless quickly become the worst enemy wishes to remind the pilot.

And the latter is never safe from an error of assessment as was the case during the last European championships in Spain, where he hit “ a high voltage line ».

Simple fright since he has “ flew back immediately so as not to be afraid” .

Definitely, the time when Clément worked on the railways is long gone, here he is now in the clouds but with his feet on the ground.

Source : West France