For 20 years, Gérard was the only Brazilian and only South American to have flown around the world in a single-engine plane – but he continues to be the only one to have done it twice… and each time in aircraft manufactured in Brazil.
His passion for the skies arises from an early age, when he would fly between his mother’s home in Switzerland and his father’s in the UK. Ever since then, he hasn’t stopped. His love of speed found expression in various motor rallies and participating on the Formula Ford European circuit. But he isn’t averse to taking it slowly either, having lived on a yacht for some time in San Diego, California, and sailed from the Pacific coast of the USA to Hawaii.
Despite being qualified as a mechanical engineer, he worked for many years in shipping, a profession which brought him to Brazil in 1983, when he set up a company in Rio de Janeiro specializing in the consolidation of soya bean exports for small producers. Having lived in various different countries, Gérard fell in love with the city and naturalized.
He took his pilot’s licence in California in 1983. In 1989, when taking off for the first flight around the world, this one with Margi, he had just 500 flying hours under his belt. By the time he had finished the second circumnavigation in the motor-glider in 2001, he had accumulated over 3,000 hours. He holds several aviation records, including the first ever crossing of the South Pacific ocean in a single-engine aircraft, from Australia to South America (duly recognised by the FAI – Fédération Internacional Aéronautique) as well as the first circumnavigation in a motor-glider.