A Soaring Spirit

Christian Marty was a fighter. The drive that pushed him to the top of the piloting profession also made him an avid sportsman who would hang glide over volcano craters, ski the most difficult slaloms and who, in 1982, became the first Frenchman ever to windsurf across the Atlantic. "In everything he did, he always wanted to prove to himself that he was as good as the best," says Claude Bouvier-Muller, 71, a retired Air France pilot and a close friend. "Yet he never bragged. It was a personal challenge."

Marty, 54, was a 32-year Air France veteran who had flown...

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