I tested a flight with the Méribel flying club

August 02, 2023

Today I'm ready to share with you one of the most epic experiences I've had recently - my first aerial adventure with the Méribel Flying Club!

I have to confess, I’m more of a down-to-earth kind of guy. Flying? Let’s just say it’s a comfort zone I wasn’t really ready to leave. 😅

But for you, dear readers, I’m ready to brave my fears! So when the opportunity to fly with the Méribel Flying Club came up, I said to myself “Why not? It’s now or never”.

Méribel is one of the few resorts to have its own flying club, and not just any flying club. Nestling in the heart of the Altiport (the first mountain altiport), the Méribel Aero Club is a real gem. What better way to discover the resort and its sumptuous scenery than to fly over it?

So hang on, we’re taking off on a journey through the skies of Méribel that I won’t soon forget! ✈

08:45: Arrival at the flying club

And here I am, in the early hours of the morning, arriving at the Méribel flying club, ready for a new experience. I confess to a touch of stress, but this is quickly dispelled by the warm welcome from the members of the flying club, particularly Marie-Noëlle Vansteellant and President Jean-François Grammont, who will be responsible for getting me off the ground and landing safely.

Sylvain, a photographer from the Tourist Office, accompanies me to capture this momentous occasion. I have a last glass of water, put on my cap and off we go for the adventure. The excitement is palpable, and even the noise of the engines can’t mask the pounding of my heart.

As I prepared for the flight, I noticed something that reassured me. Each pilot indicates on a board his departure time, the destination of his flight and the expected return time. It’s a guarantee of safety that reassured me that my experience would take place in the best possible conditions. So let’s get going!  🛫

09:00: Final checks before boarding the plane

Jean-François, my pilot, dedicates the precious minutes before the flight to meticulously checking the aircraft. It’s a compulsory step, a ritual respected by every pilot, to ensure the safety of the aircraft. Jean-François’ trained eye scrutinises every detail of the aircraft, ensuring that everything is in place for a smooth flight. It’s a moment of great rigour, which reveals the importance of the pilot’s responsibility.

Once this inspection tour is complete, it’s time for me to climb aboard. A shiver of excitement runs down my spine. Take-off is just a few minutes away, and the moment I’ve been waiting for is getting closer… 😱

09:05: And lift-off begins!


Once the helmet is on, I can clearly hear Jean-François and Sylvain, who is sitting behind me. As the plane’s engine slowly warms up, Jean-François gives me some valuable information. For example, I learn that the take-off speed is 90 km/h and that we will reach a cruising speed of between 140 km/h and 200 km/h.

Take-off, which is always a moment that makes me a little anxious on conventional flights, is incredibly effortless here. Nothing like what I’ve experienced in other aircraft. It’s a very smooth ascent that takes place, offering a really pleasant sensation of fluidity.  🤩

From my seat, right next to the pilot, I enjoy a panoramic view of the Méribel valley. During the first few minutes of the flight, Jean-François points out the various peaks on the horizon, but I have to admit that my attention is mostly captivated by the breathtaking beauty of the panorama. It’s a sight that literally leaves me speechless.

09:25: Flight to the 3 Valleys

The flight really begins with a sort of aerial ballet with another plane, so that Sylvain can take a few shots. It’s a fun way to start our journey to the 3 Valleys. Jean-François decided to show me the legendary valleys from a completely new perspective: that of the birds.

We flew over part of Courchevel, then Val-Thorens, before returning to Méribel via Mottaret. In the distance, Lake Tueda appears like a sparkling mirror in the heart of the mountains. It’s absolutely magical. 🤩

But nature is respected in all circumstances. In fact, planes are not allowed to fly over the Vanoise National Park in order to maintain the tranquillity of these unspoilt areas.

The Méribel Flying Club is committed to respecting the environment that makes our mountains so charming, and is therefore committed to avoiding flying over flocks and herds and to ensuring the peace and quiet of the local population.

In fact, as he flies over the centre of Méribel, Jean-François reduces the engine speed to minimise noise, a perfect illustration of this respect for the environment.

09:45: Gentle landing

As we near the end of our aerial journey, Jean-François explains that the runway, with its gentle 5% gradient, is perfect for a safe landing. However, it is only 400 metres long, so impeccable precision in the aircraft’s trajectory is required.

We began our descent at a speed of 120 km/h, and after about forty minutes of flight I could finally feel the aircraft’s wheels touching down on the runway.

But even after that softest of landings, I’m still in the air. In my mind’s eye I cannot forget those splendid images of the mountains, peaks and chalets of Méribel as seen from above. 😍

What an adventure! 💪

I have to admit that I never imagined I’d have so much fun flying over these majestic landscapes and discovering these breath-taking panoramas. I came away with a head full of wonders and learning, thanks to my pilot’s expertise, and I had absolutely no fear of heights.

Taking a discovery flight is an experience I can wholeheartedly recommend. These flights are available from mid-June to October, then from mid-December to the end of the winter season.

So I encourage you all to try this aerial adventure, at least once in your life.

So it’s your turn to take to the skies and marvel at Méribel From The Sky! 😊

Arthur, your loyal editor and activity tester