For 10 years, “Un Morceau de Ciel bleu” has been giving wings to teenagers in the Toulouse neighborhoods

the essential
Created in July 2013, the association “Un Morceau de Ciel bleu” introduces children from working-class neighborhoods to the best of aeronautics. Thanks to her, 5,000 young people have been supported in 10 years, from Toulouse to… Dakar, where she too has led to flight.

Philippe Le Bris is the story of a discreet man. Imposing and round build, white beard, measured speech and benevolent smile: someone will think of a portrait of Santa Claus when he meets him. Except he works year-round to deliver their “Piece of Blue Sky” to babies who didn’t necessarily find it in their shoes at birth. Those who live in popular neighborhoods where, from the balconies of buildings, you can see Blagnac’s Airbuses take off and land… But without taking them, much less piloting them. The horizon that he wanted to change in the looks of the kids, in 2012.

The street educator starts the construction of the A320 flight simulator

“I was a street educator at Mirail and there was this group of young people who did little, “abandoned” as they say today, but I saw them fascinated by the planes approaching the airport. To reconnect the thread, I then asked them to build an A320 flight simulator. Enthusiastic reaction and we therefore embarked on a club in the neighborhood”, recalls Philippe Le Bris.

Aeronautical bulletin

Your weekly appointment to discover exclusive information on the aeronautical sector: interviews, insights, surveys…

Sign in

But, at the same time, this also meant for these young people to acquire the basics, the foundations of an aeronautical culture: “I therefore also offered them to prepare the Certificate of Aeronautical Initiation”. A goal that remobilized them. The art and also the way to make teenagers study French, mathematics and physics without them realizing it. And this was the starting point of Un Morceau de Ciel bleu: “creating desire and guiding projects”, the association born in July 2013, in Bellefontaine.

First aeronautical manual in Braille

Ten years later ? The first five BIAs became 1,200, in Toulouse and its surroundings, and the association also produced the first aeronautical manual in Braille with the famous “flying mirauds”. But in addition, it can boast a total of 5,000 accompanied young people, like a piece of blue sky it was also able to travel and offer its pedagogy on the stops of the old Latécoère lines, in the wake of the Aéropostale epic. Mauritania, Senegal or Argentina… Its educational materials contribute today to nurturing vocations on three continents, testifying to the intense work carried out with ASEPMA, the Senegalese association for the promotion of aeronautics.

“Family photo” for the 10th anniversary of the association.

“Indeed, the action of the association is based on a triptych: the BIA and the support of young people towards careers in aeronautics and space; the creation of materials and tools for learning and citizenship thanks to a partnership with the Air and Space Force”, specifies Philippe Le Bris. Regular connections and visits with the 118 Mont-de-Marsan air base, which this year also took the form of Aeroscopia with an exhibition on the 80th anniversary of the Normandie-Niemen fighter regiment, production of a satellite model with the Toulouse-Lautrec college acclaimed by the Toulouse space command, among others…

Valérie and Philippe Le Bris, Odile Chartier, vice president and Eric Delectrin, Philippe's alter ego for Un Morceau de Ciel bleu.

Valérie and Philippe Le Bris, Odile Chartier, vice president and Eric Delectrin, Philippe’s alter ego for Un Morceau de Ciel bleu.

In doing so, Un Morceau de Ciel Bleu enacted a decennial step towards excellence, not a “cheap” initiation. National School of Civil Aviation, Lycée Saint-Exupéry, Ligue de l’enseignement, Airbus staff and of course Ailes Anciennes and Aéroscopia: at Mirail or elsewhere, motivated middle and high school students discover in their journey that an airplane is not just a pilot but that it is a sum of professions, skills, a harmony of passions and reasons, desires and needs. In short, a school of life and a future for them too. With the possible and the feasible.

From BIA to Line

Coming from early BIAs at Mirail, Lisa managed to pass her basic pilot license, with the association, in 2018. Others are in the league, like Yan, today. And every year, a godfather, a godmother supports volunteers and young people. For this 10And birthday ? To succeed Nicolas Honnons, Air France captain and French glider aerobatic champion… Neither more nor less than Catherine Maunoury, former aerobatic world champion, former director of the Aeronautics Museum and president of the Aéroclub de France, the oldest aeronautical institution in the world. Sacred symbol for the sowers of Toulouse…

Add a Comment