26 March 2024
Our Customers, their aircraft…
A pilot, a plane and mountains

Jean-François Marchal is one of our customers. At the age of 58, this private pilot and flight test engineer at Dassault Aviation has logged a total of 1,700 flying hours. Based at the Salon-Eyguières airfield, he has flown numerous machines: Robins, Jodels, Rallyes, a few Cessnas, Mooney M20 and a few hours on CAP10s. He even had the opportunity to back-seat in a Rafale jet fighter. As well as being an aviation enthusiast, he loves the mountains.
With these two passions, of course, he shares the values of Henri Giraud, one of the pioneers of mountain flying, whom he quotes openly:
“Mountains, so beautiful, since you cannot come to me, allow me to come to you on foot, or by plane, to woo you!”

A mountaineer in search of the perfect plane

In 2001, Jean-François took a mountain flying qualification with a view to reaching to the summits and, just after, decided to get his own aircraft. However, as well as being capable of landing on the restrictive runways of the altisurfaces, his future aircraft would also have to have very good cruising performance.

So he spent a whole year trying out machines all over France. To no avail! Robins or Jodels, none of them met his specifications.
One day, in Darois (France), he had the opportunity to fly an MCR-01 and was surprised by the aircraft’s speed. Unfortunately, it was impossible to use it in the mountains. The MCR-01 wasn’t suitable for that.

A year later, in 2002, while continuing his research, he read an article in Aviasport magazine about an aircraft he had never seen before: the MCR-M ‘Montagne’.
“When I read the article, I realised that this machine was nothing like the one I had flew a year earlier,” he explains.
Jean-François then remembered the performance of the MCR-01 and, intrigued, set off to try an MCR-M. Bingo! As soon as he got back from the flight, he was in no doubt: he’d found his plane and, without waiting, he bought a kit.

It took him two and a half years to build it himself, and in 2005 the MCR-M, registered F-PJFM, made its maiden flight, powered by a Rotax 912 ULS equipped with an MT-Propeller MTV-21A.
It was the start of a great adventure between the aircraft and its owner! Because, almost 20 years and 1,200 flight hours later, the story isn’t over, and it’s not about to end…

In terms of cockpit equipment, the MCR-M has a basic layout. In addition to analogue instruments, it has a small artificial horizon, a FUNKE radio and a small Garmin 155. But these days, the pilot prefers to navigate by using his smartphone or tablet with the Sky-Map GPS app (which also features a FLARM system).

In the matter of safety, Jean-François has chosen not to equip his MCR-M with an airframe parachute. The explanation is simple: in the event of a emergency over the mountains, he would prefer to fly his aircraft and find a landing zone, rather than be under a parachute that would take him randomly to a ravine, the edge of a cliff, or roost him in trees, for example.

On the other hand, when we at SE Aviation Aircraft created the new flap control system, the owner of the F-PJFM didn’t hesitate for a second: “For me, it was an absolute must. It should be mandatory!” In addition, he had our new fuel tanks installed, which are lighter and more secure than the old ones.

Pilot and mountain man

With his MCR-M, Jean-François has made a few flights to Corsica and the Atlantic coast, but, as you’ll have gathered, it’s mainly to the mountains that he flies. From Salon-Eyguières, it only takes him an hour to fly to the French Alps and an hour and a half to get to the Pyrenees, particularly Bagnères-de-Luchon, where he has a small pied-à-terre.

And don’t be fooled into thinking that the pilot is happy to take off and land in the mountains again and again. Because, like all mountain people, he loves hiking and, by extension, nature. For him, the F-PJFM is a way to woo the mountains. As a result, each landing on an altisurface is followed by a long hike, even a bivouac with a tent set up at the foot of his MCR-M, sometimes surrounded by cows…

In the near future, he plans to fit 6-inch wheels on his MCR-M, with low-pressure tyres. This modification will enable him to land on even more rugged altisurfaces, to be more connected with the mountains he loves so much. This would be a first for an MCR. We can’t wait to see the photos he will send us.
To be continued…

Yes, the MCR-M is an aircraft able to cruise at over 130 knots, to land on 200-metre runways with slopes of 20%, sometimes covered in thistles, and still remain economical. And, for Jean-François, that means one word: happiness.

Enjoy your flights… and your hikes, Mr Marchal!



When Jean-François speaks about his MCR-M

love introducing my family, friends and even colleagues to mountain flying. For that, my MCR-M is really perfect: it’s fast, safe, fuel-efficient and well adapted to the mountains. What’s more, I love this plane in the truest sense of the word. People even say that it’s my girlfriend. They’re not wrong, because I love it as if it was my wife!

Firstly, it has real sentimental value because I built it myself… And I also love it because it gives me happiness: when I’m up in the sky with my MCR-M, all my worries disappear. It’s an outlet that allows me to combine my two passions: aviation and mountains. And I will never leave my girl-friend!



SE Aviation Aircraft on Youtube

Following the launch of our Facebook page, the development of SE Aviation Aircraft on social networks continues with the creation of our official YouTube channel. For the time being, it doesn’t have much to offer, but it will soon be updated with lots of exclusive content.

Don’t hesitate to subscribe and to activate the “bell” to be notified of each new release. And if you’d like to send us your flight videos, we’d be delighted to post them.

See you soon on our social networks!















By continuing to browse this site, you accept the use of Cookies intended to produce consultation statistics.