Three Questions for… Sébastien Loeb, five-time world rally champion

On December 18, 2008, five-time world rally champion Sébastien Loeb was handed the keys to his EC120 B Colibri at the Marignane plant. He sat down for a talk with Rotor Journal.

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Why did you choose the EC120?
Sébastien Loeb: I did some research to determine what type of helicopter was best suited for private use, and I finally chose the EC120 mainly because it has a large baggage compartment and is an extremely practical helicopter. I also think it looks great. It was also important for me to fly a helicopter with a turbine engine for greater safety.

What types of missions will you be using your helicopter for?
S.L.: I’ll be using it to travel to test sessions and to rally circuits, and also to visit friends and family as flying helicopters is something I obviously enjoy–it’s not just about business. I had the opportunity to fly in helicopters many times during rally races, and I was won over immediately. It was a new and exciting experience for me: Piloting a helicopter is a real challenge, as you have to be very delicate with the controls. I finally gave in and decided to get my helicopter pilot license. Once I received my certification, I then decided to buy one.

Can you draw any parallels between driving a rally car and flying a helicopter?
S.L.: Driving in a rally and flying in a helicopter are two different things entirely, but both require a great deal of concentration and precision. I’m constantly on the razor’s edge when I’m driving in a rally, but flying a helicopter is not the same: The sensations are completely different. I’m always pushing my vehicle to the limits in a rally race, whereas in my helicopter, the goal is to stay within the limits. But flying a helicopter is a lot of fun!


"In a vehicle, my objective is to push the limits. In a helicopter, the goal is to stay within the limits."