Jean-Marie Klinka (1947-2021)

March 15, 2021
I received the sad news from Alexandre Leboulanger of the DGAC (French FAA) that our dear friend of 5 decades, Jean-Marie Klinka, had "gone west".
-Fred Robbins

Hint: If you use Chrome, to translate French, see Instructions
         Disparition [Disappearance] de Jean-Marie Klinka

         Disparition [Disappearance] de Jean-Marie Klinka

         Archives pour Jean-Marie Klinka


Looking Back
Below are items about Jean-Marie, by Jean-Marie, and related news items he would send me.


I first met Jean-Marie and Isabelle when they came to visit here in NY.
One day, J-M and I rode around Dutchess County on my motorcycle, doing a little sightseeing and shopping.

Another day, they went flying with Daniel and Montaine when J-M took these beautiful photos.

  Jean-Marie's Photos

On our trip to France, Lynn and I visited with Jean-Marie and Isabelle in Le Mans.

Jean-Marie in his office

Photo by Alain Ernoult

French Connection Aerobatic Course (PDF file)
by Daniel Héligoin (Transcribed by Jean-Marie Klinka)

Aerobuzz Article on French Connection Accident (English translation)

"It Was The French Connection Airshow"

For 25 years, with their Cap 10s, Montaine Mallet and Daniel Héligoin
formed one of the most spectacular North American air show circuit
acrobatic duets. Their adventure was halted in the most brutal manner.

Almost 15 years! Almost 15 years ago, I learned on a Sunday afternoon, a
devastating blow, they disappeared in the Florida sky. Paralyzed by the
news, I could not bring myself too tell Auguste Mudry. It was in May 2000.

Montaine Mallet (engineer) and Daniel Héligoin (French Air Force
aerobatics team) were sent to the United States in 1973 by Auguste Mudry
to market the Cap 10 in a market dominated by Pitts. They will settle in
the suburbs of New York and finally settle in Florida (Flagler County)
where the climate is more favorable for an aerobatics school.

Times are tough! Sales of the Cap do not enable them to live decently.
They will create a flying school and the famous "French Connection
Airshow" team. They will make their first public appearance as a duo in
Oshkosh in 1975. Unknown to the organizers, their performance is
postponed to the end of the show, when the grounds are empty. But the
spectators who are still around are not coming back to watch!

Daniel achieved early fame with his famous "snap roll" on takeoff and
360° inverted (negative G) turn with 90° bank. It is already the beauty
of this team's so close and harmonious choreography that contrasts with
the "brutality" of the figures executed by Pitts. Therefore, they will
never cease to enjoy their fame at the largest airshows across the USA.

Their adventure was thoroughly told in French by François Dabin in 2012,
published by Publibook. This book has been translated into English,
chapter by chapter, under its control, by one of his student pilots,
Laurent Pointeau, corrected by Claude Chanclu, American-speaking student
of, and instructor for, Daniel, and final revue by Fred Robbins,
lifelong American friend, who had the chance to improve his French with
Montaine and secondarily his aerobatics with Daniel! The spirit of the
original book has been preserved, the English is pleasant, very "fluent"
and a way to improve his English while having fun.

- Jean-Marie Klinka

My Tribute

- Fred Robbins

CAP10BK - Carbon Fiber Spar Reinforcement


Jean-Marie Saget Surpasses 20,000 hours


Dorine Bourneton, Paraplegic, Flies at Le Bourget 2017


The CapX Flies Again


Annual Gathering of CAPs in Formation



Jean-Marie Klinka Book Signing,
Auguste Mudry 100th Birthday Celebration,
Loan of CAP232 to Museum - September 2017

Profile from Info-Pilote December 2018(?)

Jean-Marie sent me this forum post in response to his friend Jacques Callies, Director, Aviation et Pilote magazine)

 Despite his doubts, J-M did complete his 2nd book!
See Book #2 (1972-2012) below.

6/29/18 Clarification: Jean-Marie Klinka is ill; Jacques Callies is not ill.]

De bien tristes nouvelles de Jean-Marie Klinka

J'ai revu avec plaisir, tout à fait par hasard, hier après-midi, le film
« Le festin de Babette » que vous aviez comparé à ma remise de médaille
[remise de la Médaille Aéronautique en 2012 par Jean Salis dans les
salons de la DGAC*]. J'avais oublié la bonté générale qui en ressort. Je
ne sais pas si j'ai eu le temps de vous informer de l'évolution de ma
maladie : pour moi, c'est un peu la descente aux enfers, je n'aurai pas
le courage d'écrire la suite de mon bouquin [Voler ou ne pas voler,
telle est la question - 1972-1992**], c'est dommage. Je perds la mémoire,
c'est compliqué. J'avais plein de choses à raconter, une centaine de
photos perso. C'était prévu, il n'y a pas de remède, c'est inexorable.
Vous écrire ce mot m'épuise. Sans doute le dernier


  (Translation below with help from Google Translate and Jean-Marie)

Sad news from Jean-Marie Klinka

I saw with pleasure, quite by chance, yesterday afternoon, the film
"Babette's feast" that you compared to my medal ceremony
[Award of the Aerospace Medal in 2012 by Jean Salis in the DGAC* shows].
I had forgotten the general goodness that comes out of it.

I do not know if I have had the time to inform you of the evolution of my
illness: for me, it's a little descent into hell, I will not have
the courage to write the rest of my book ["To fly or not to fly,
that is the question" - 1972-1992**], that's a shame. I'm losing my memory,
it is complicated. I had a lot to tell, about a hundred personal photos...

It was destined, there is no cure, it is inexorable.
Writing this message exhausted me. Without doubt the last one.


* Direction générale de l'aviation civile
   Director General of Civil Aviation (French FAA)

** 1st book   (1972-1992)
     2nd Book (1972-2012) spans all years

                        DGAC Photo

NOTE: As of this writing, I don't believe copies of either book are available.
They were distributed only by the DGAC (French FAA).

Book #1 1972-1992

(Select either one to see larger version)

Book #2 1972-2012

(Select either one to see larger version)

December 2020

Update: March 29, 2021

French Connection