Juan Velarde

Juan Velarde

2011 - Present avión

Juan Velarde

With his eyes on the sky since he was a child

Velarde was already flying through the skies when he was 15. He began training as a pilot in Alaska and, after his return to Spain, he became a commercial pilot.

In 1999, he got started in acrobatic flight, which led him to participate in the top event in today's sport aviation: the Red Bull Air Race. Furthermore, as a great aircraft enthusiast, he flies historical aeroplanes for the Infante de Orleans Foundation, which boasts one of the most prestigious classic aircraft collections in Europe.

Juan Velarde
  • copa

    1 2010 Spanish overall


  • copa

    5 Spanish

    Runner ups

  • copa

    3 Podiums

    at the Red Bull Air Race

Flying with the Repsol aerobatics team

Surrounded by pilots since he was a child

I grew up in an aviation family: my father was a pilot, my grandfather was a private pilot, so I was surrounded by aircraft since I was a child

Juan Velarde 2018
Juan Velarde’s plane with his number, 26

Stunts in the air

I wanted to try aerobatics to experience something different in my aviation career and I got completely hooked after the first flight

Juan Velarde 2015
The importance of a good pilot

On competition flight

In competition flight, you fly entirely by feeling, almost by instinct, the bond between pilot and machine is quite strong so, from the pilot's point of view, it's much more rewarding than commercial flight. But one thing does not detract from the other

Juan Velarde 2018

Sport aviation elite

He started flying gliders at the tender age of 15 and, at 16, he completed his first solo flight. After he finished school in Anchorage, Alaska, where he obtained his private pilot licence, he returned to Spain and started flying by towing gliders while he studied to become a commercial pilot. At the age of 22, he joined Iberia, where he is currently captain of an A330.

His beginnings in aerobatics go back to 1999, and only five years after that he joined the National Team. He participated in all European and World championships from 2004 to 2011, helping Spain win the silver medal for teams in the 2007 World Aerobatic Championship and the silver and bronze medal for teams in the 2006, 2008, and 2014 European Championships. He's won several medals in Spanish championships and, in 2010, he became the absolute national champion in aerobatics.

In 2011, Repsol created the Bravo3 team, and Velarde started flying with Cástor Fantoba and Anselmo Gámez, participating in exhibitions and competitions.

In 2014, Velarde took a new step and debuted in the Challenger class of the Red Bull Air Race, achieving a podium on his first time and entering the Master Class in 2015, where he's achieved two podiums so far.

On top of this, Juan flies historical aeroplanes for the Infante de Orleans Foundation.

Juan Velarde

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Enduring G forces

Juan Velarde aerobatics

Flying in the Red Bull Air Race

Juan Velarde aerobatics