He is a great man, known for his rigour, modesty and special attention to others, who has just left us. Jean-Marie Saget, former chief test pilot for Dassault Aviation, died on March 19, 2020 at the age of 91.
Born in Paris on March 17, 1929, he graduated from the École de l’Air in the class of 1949. After an internship in the United States (1951-1952) where he acquired a pilot’s license on P-51 Mustang aircraft, he became a fighter pilot in the French Air Force, assigned to the 2/2 Côte-d’Or fighter squadron from 1952 to 1955.
Following his victory in the Paris-Cannes race on Ouragan on August 29, 1954, he was hired by Marcel Dassault and became a test pilot, then chief pilot of the Company from 1955 to 1989.
He took part in the testing of all Dassault Aviation fighter aircraft, then of its civilian aircraft and of the Atlantique 2. He was responsible, among others, for the Étendard IV M, Mirage III V (vertical take off), Mirage F1, Mirage G8 (variable jib), Alpha Jet and Mirage 4000 programs. He carried out spin tests for the Super Mystère B-2, Étendard IV M, Mirage F1, Jaguar, Alpha Jet and Super-Étendard, as well as numerous flight demonstrations in France and abroad.
He completed his career as a technical-operational advisor to the Company from 1989 to 1992.
Parallel to his professional activities, Jean-Marie Saget had been an aerobatics instructor since 1972 with more than 4,000 hours of flight time on CAP 10. He was also president of the Cercle de Chasse of Nangis association, which flies on Vampire, as well as president of the Aéro Club Marcel Dassault Voltige.
He had more than 20,000 hours total flying time on 150 aircraft types.
Jean-Marie Saget was Officer of the Legion of Honour, Commander of the National Order of Merit and holder of the Aeronautics Medal.
He was endowed with an extraordinary know-how. He will remain, at Dassault Aviation, an example of the qualities that the aeronautical world requires to accomplish the greatest purposes.