Mélanie Astles is five times aerobatics French champion and finished several times in the top ten World and European championships. Now, as a pilot in the Red Bull Air Race Challenger Cup, she writes a page in history of aviation by being the first woman to ever compete in the RBAR.
Mélanie’s story is one of passion, perseverance and overcoming the odds. Nobody believed that she could fulfil her childhood dream to become a pilot when she quit school at 18 to enter active life. When she took a job in a petrol station in Roquebrune Cap Martin, in the South of France, where she lived, the dream seemed far away. But thanks to her relentless work, she became manager of several petrol stations. She was then able to save money to pay for flying lessons, which she started at age 21. In her very first year in aerobatics competition, she snatched victory at the French Cup in the “Espoir” category.
With a steady and constant progression, she worked her way up the categories, winning national championships and her place in the prestigious Aerobatics French Team. In 2014, she was seventh overall at the Aerobatics World Championships, “Advanced “level and first at the female ranking. In 2015, she ranked world fifth best female pilot in the highest category “Unlimited”, and was a member of the French team which won the world title.