Tribute to Alain Didier

Alain Didier, General Practitioner. Died last July, discreetly as was his life.
He joined our company in 1990, following his two prestigious predecessors, General Doctors Valérie André and Robert Auffret.

Born in 1937, Pupille de la Nation began his studies at the Military Prytanée. As he said, he put on the uniform at the age of 10 and never left him again.
In 1963 he was a Military Doctor and chose to serve in the Air Force.
He began as a doctor in charge of the supervision of aircrew at the bases of Orange, Etampes and Villacoublay where he was under the command of Doctor Colonel Valérie André.

Then in 1968 he decided for a medical and hospital career, which forced him the difficult path of competitions to successively access the titles of Assistant, Hospital Doctor, and finally Associate Professor in the Val de Grace in 1976.
For 13 years he practiced internal medicine and cardiology in the Army Training Hospitals of the Paris region.
In 1982 he returned to aerospace medicine as head of medicine and cardiology at the Main Centre for Medical Expertise of Aircrew, where he became Director in 1990.
In the meantime, he is professor of aerospace medicine at the School of Application of the Health Service for the Air Force.

Speaking of his field, I can only do better by quoting the words of his presentation speech at the Academy. I quote:
“There is no better introduction to my subject than this quote from Louis Blériot, who wrote in 1922:
– It is not the resistance of matter that will be the limit of the acrobatic performance of the artificial bird, but the physiological resistance of man who is the brain. »
Alain continued, and I quote:
“As long as man must remain the brain of the artificial bird, as the only one capable of dealing with the unexpected with intelligence, aeronautical medicine will face this challenge, superbly stated more than half a century ago by the great aviation pioneer. »

So he joined us in 1990 as a full member, but I had known him before, at the signing of my pilot licenses, authority how dreaded but still affable.
A discreet and empathetic personality, he agreed to take over as president of Section 3. He brought it back to life and led it with its smiling efficiency, accepted without problem by all the members.
Anxious to promote the human part in our reflections as technicians, he told us about our brain and its behavior, our memories. We were taking advantage of his vast experience.
He was vice-president of the Academy from 1996 to 2000.
From 1998 to 2003, he organized and managed the cycle of forums dedicated to human-machine interfacing, a real success of the Academy.
He then retired, always discreetly, to deal with difficult family problems.

This was our late colleague Alain Didier, competent, dedicated, effective facilitator of our actions focused on our human objectives.