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Alain Trétout

Alain Trétout was born in Paris on 23rd November 1935. His father being a naval officer, he spent his childhood between Cherbourg, Toulon and Brest. From the age of 6, he was already mad about aviation and was building model aircraft.

His secondary education took place at Pontivy then he sat the entrance exam for the Military Academy in 1954-55. Admitted to the Air Force Academy in 1956, he chose to be a fighter pilot. He earned his wings at Meknès.

Assigned to No. 10 Squadron at Creil on SMB2 jet aircraft, he was then transferred to Algeria for “peace-keeping” duties, at Batna. On his return, he was assigned to the CEAM, and attended the test pilot course at EPNER, in 1965 at Istres.

Alain Trétout was then appointed Mirage F1 type officer at the CEAM where he vigorously defended its qualities. He demonstrated F1.04, the first aircraft representative of the production series, during the VAMOM at Mont de Marsan in 1970.

The pilot Alain Trétout, going out of the cockpit of the Mirage F1
The pilot Alain Trétout, going out of the cockpit of the Mirage F1

Thanks to his technical and human values, he was invited to join Avions Marcel Dassault (AMD) in view of the forthcoming programs (Mirage G4, Mercure, Alpha Jet, etc.).

He demonstrated the Mirage F1 at the 1971 Le Bourget air show, then on the 1st October of that same year, he joined AMD. He was replaced at the CEAM by Jean-Loup Chrétien, the future cosmonaut.

Alain Trétout was then put in charge of the F1 program, as it entered its weapon system development phase. He fulfilled his duties with enthusiasm for one year.

On 31st October 1972, passing through Villaroche, he flew with Jacques Ladeux, on the Mystère 10.01 prototype, in the context of certification of the new aircraft.

At the end of a lateral trim runaway test, the transverse motions caused a structural failure resulting in the loss of both the aircraft and its crew. A monument has since been erected, on the roadside, close to Romorantin, at the scene of the crash.

Mirage F1 01 on the ground
Mirage F1 01 on the ground