St. Martiner joins French air force

POSTED: 08/2/16 9:36 AM

St.Martin – Gregory Toulen will be the first local St. Martiner in the island’s history to enroll in the French air force. Toulen said that he first worked as an aircraft mechanic and after several years, he got this opportunity to join the air force.

“I have always dreamed of being pilot since I was a small child,” he said. However, he apparently came from a “difficult family” and that motivated him to pursue his dreams even more. He explained, to be admitted in the French Air force one has to be physically fit and excel in maths and science.

He said that he is poised and focused to take on the challenges which include excelling at his exams to fly his first plane – a turbo prop aircraft. Prior to getting to fly the plane, students must have at least 300 flying hours which could take them as long as two years.

His mother is from Venezuela and his dad is from the French side so all of his schooling is in French. “I did not know much about Winair at the time when I went to France to study,” he said. He did not know that there were so many opportunities on St. Maarten in the aviation field. He has signed a contract with the French Air force for six years which will expire in 2019.

He is hoping that after his contract is finished that he could join the ranks of Winair to make his contribution to the island.

He was given a tour of Winair by Captain Michael Jeffrey who is a senior captain at the airline and said that he was quite impressed.

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