The acrobatic flight pilot Cástor Fantoba is preparing for the championship of Spain and the World, both in the coming months
Cástor Fantoba lives from the air. He eats like any human being and works as the most, but his passion is in the heavens, where he spends more time than on earth. He is 53 years old, an aeronautical technical engineer and one of the best acrobatic pilots in the world. Champion of Spain eight times, is now preparing for the national championship that takes place in June in Requena, and the world, in August. Accustomed to seeing the earth spin at full speed or plummeting against the ground, this Navarrese based in Madrid since he came to study in his university days, no longer knows the fear of flying or adrenaline. “I’m sure doing this because it’s what I do best in my life. For me this is work. ”
How can an engineer finish making figures in the air?
I was a private pilot. I came to Madrid to study aeronautical engineering and after entering to study I realized that it was not my thing. It was not what I thought it was. It was something completely different. The race was not practical, it was totally theoretical. There was a very powerful filtering according to the theoretical requirements. And many people left.
And you decided to go altogether to dedicate yourself to something else?
When I finished my degree, I took the commercial pilot course, which enables you to live aviation professionally as a pilot, and I went into the fumigation, in firefighting, until I had the opportunity to work in an airline. Then I was a couple of years as a professional aerobatic pilot, and between all this time, when I was going from one company to another, one or two seasons in firefighting, and that way I was always investing in a loan to buy the plane. competition, until we pay it.
Have you spent your life flying to get mortgaged buying airplanes?
Alejandra [his wife] and I have not had a house until three years ago. We mortgage for planes. And I was lucky that she saw that there was a way out, she saw that it was not only the foolishness that I wanted to fly and that’s it, but there was wood, she bet for me in every way, and it seems that the thing was not bad …
But do we have to be very clear that one is worth for this?
Acrobatics does not give money. I have mortgaged like everyone else. Acrobatics is a well. I earn money from my other jobs and invest in this. We have dogs, not children, that do not have to go to school or to the University … how much they eat a couple of sofas …
And how do you come to intuit that you can give this sport good results?
First, it requires that you like it, after it is good for you. The filters are putting your life. If you like soccer, you start playing and then you have two left feet, we’re going bad. If you’re good at it when you start, more motivation you have. Then you have some requirements, obviously, you have to have self-financing and see if it is bearable with the life you have. You may want to be a Formula 1 driver, and you may be good at it, but if there is no way to get a sponsor … you will never be a Formula 1 driver. You need to have some kind of sporting success so that at a given moment sponsors notice you. Then there is no sponsorship for this sport in particular, does not have much presence in media that makes it attractive and end up knocking at your door.
And you also need to have a lot of cold blood?
We all have psychological limitations, but this is the little I know how to do well in life. With this plane I know how to do things that I can not do with other machines. Fly inverted three meters above the ground? It can. Do we have to go to the ground from here to Galapagar ?, we can, we study the terrain, we check the cables …, but we can. That has nothing to do with acrobatics, but what I want to say is that flying is the little I know how to do well in this life, and acrobatics is what I do best. I’m sure. Can the machine fail, can there be an engine failure? Yes, but … I’m sure.
And how do you plan to reinvent yourself when you leave the competition?
I do not consider my life without flying. I will continue with the school, and training people to continue with this business. It does not make sense that we already have an international level if he later dies, it would be selfish. The idea is to train people, to learn, and for this sport to go forward. Even evolve the sport. I am also part of the International Aerobatic Flight Commission, I am one of the five vice presidents, and within the commission we also try to evolve this activity to reach a level of motor sport, and not stay in a redoubt.
A LONG RACE THROUGH THE AIR
Cástor Fantoba is an aeronautical technical engineer and, after working for several years in aircraft maintenance, his vocation led him to train as an airline pilot and firefighter. In addition, he is a flight instructor and member of the Spanish acrobatic flight team since 1999. “The most tired is always the students. They mistreat you up. As they are learning, they make you some turns that leave you in a state of dust “, he laughs. He won his first National Championship in 2002. Later, Ambassador of the Marca España since 2014. Champion of Europe 2014, three bronze medals in the 2017 World Cup; double bronze medal in the 2015 World Cup, bronze medal in Classic and Freestyle in the European Championship 2016 and eight times Champion of Spain and officially recognized High Level Athlete (DAN) by the Sports Council since 2005,