When the former A300 was retired and replaced by the A310, Gwenn and the Novespace team applied their safety and security experience to parabolic flights, which differ from commercial flights in several important ways.
“During certain flight phases, like the safety equipment demonstrations, passengers might be forgiven for thinking they weren’t on board the zero-gravity A310 at all.”
The FSO’s training really comes into its own during parabolic maneuvers, when passenger safety is monitored even more closely to avoid injuries or discomfort resulting from variations in the load factor.
“I think that one of my favorite parts is when the passengers discover weightlessness. It’s always a unique moment – there are no words to describe it. It reminds you of your first zero-gravity flight. It’s quite physically demanding, so this work also allows me to learn more about how the body reacts under different conditions, particularly following the hypergravity and microgravity phases, and as a result of the experiments we do on board. And during purely commercial flights, you don’t get to see what an aircraft like this is really capable of doing. Despite the parabolas, it stays in its flight envelope, which is a unique experience from a professional point of view.”