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France's First Female Fighter Pilot Dies

Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:56 pm

Hi all,

I did a quick search and could not find any info on this, and looking quickly through the internet, no english version could be found either, so I did a quick translation of a french Wikipedia article.

Some of you might consider this small news but she was well known here in France, and looking at the way she went at 32 years old, I believe she deserves her little tribute here on

Major Caroline Aigle was the first woman to become a jet fighter pilot in the French Air Force.

Originating from Bergerac in the Dordogne, born in Montauban, she travelled through a good part of Africa with her father who was an army medical officer, before joining at 14 years the military College of Saint-Cyr. She then went to a preparatory class at the military national Academy Prytanée (higher Mathematics and special Mathematics) before being allowed in 1994 to the very famous Polytechnic School (called X) (X1994 promotion).
Since X's student are under military status, she carried out her obligatory military service (1994-1995) with the 13th battalion of alpine fighters (very tough group). At the end of the 2 years of studies in X she decided to integrate in her 3rd and final year (1996-1997) the Ecole de l'Air and then at the end of her studies in 1997 she joined Air Force.

On May 28, 1999, she became the first French woman to graduate as a jet fighter pilot.

She was on duty on Mirage 2000-5 with Fighter squadron 2/2 Côte d'Or with the BA102 (BA stands for air force station) of Dijon in 2000, then she became major in 2005.

In September 2006, she was assigned to the "Flights Safety" unit of the French Air Forces main command of BA128 in Metz.

Caroline Aigle was also accomplished sports woman, military french champion of triathlon 1997, world military champion of team triathlon 1997 and world military vice-champion of team triathlon in 1999. She also practised another of her passions free fall / parachuting.

She died aged 33 year old on August 21, 2007 of a virulent cancer detected one month before her disappearance. She had close to 1.600 hours of flight. She was married and mother of two children.

She had a brilliant officer's career in front of her, and was a very strong and dedicated woman that managed to break through the tough world of the French Air Force mostly comprising men, and I believe she did very well at that.


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Picture of Caroline Aigle flying a Mirage 2000-5 (origin: Sirpa Air;
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RE: France's First Female Fighter Pilot Dies

Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:22 am

Thanks for this fascinating tribute to a remarkable aviator.
Ironic that she should die so young, but not from the dangerous career she chose, military fast jet aviation.
(I take it that the quote 'one month before her disappearance was a translation goof, meaning one month before her death?)
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RE: France's First Female Fighter Pilot Dies

Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:40 pm

This is truly a sad story of a brave woman. She should be commemorated properly in France as she deserves nothing less than a hero status. May she rest in peace and my condolences to the French people.
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RE: France's First Female Fighter Pilot Dies

Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:04 pm

A truly brilliant woman, too short a life. Cancer took her away as such an early age...
I learned about her brutal disappearance in a non-aviation French forum.
She looks like such a nice person...... Must be difficult for her husband and her two young children.

At least she has fulfilled her dream.


For those who read French, this is the very moving sermon pronounced during the religious service of her funeral.


Quoting RJAF (Reply 2):
She should be commemorated properly in France as she deserves nothing less than a hero status.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
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RE: France's First Female Fighter Pilot Dies

Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:13 am

May she rest in peace!
Face your fears, live your dreams! (No Fear)
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RE: France's First Female Fighter Pilot Dies

Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:14 am

Great post. Thanks for the effort. Godspeed.
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