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(Bull)fighter pilot(Bull)fighter pilot

Retired matador finds his wingsRetired matador finds his wings

Victor Huerta, a former bullfighter, is now a private pilot who flies out of Santa Monica Airport.

If you could be a jack of more than one trade and combine two dream jobs that are seemingly unrelated to each other, what would they be?

You’ve heard of famous actors and sports professionals who combined their professional lives with aviation. You likely haven’t heard of Victor Huerta, but that’s because he was part of a sport or tradition not well known in the United States.

Huerta is a retired matador who has performed internationally. His most recent accomplishment, however, is that he earned a private pilot certificate.

Huerta’s fascination with flying began as a young child growing up in Mexico, where he had model airplanes hanging from his bedroom ceiling. His older cousin was a DC-10 pilot, and Huerta recalls seeing his cousin in a pilot’s uniform and wanting to wear one just like it someday.

Instead of a pilot’s uniform, however, Huerta would don a traje de luces—the traditional suit a matador wears. His father and uncle were bullfighters in the 1960s. Huerta trained with his father and became a professional matador in 1995.

For the next seven years, Huerta’s career took him to Costa Rica and France, among other places. The desire to fly never left. He got a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator in the early 2000s and told himself that some day he would fly the real thing.

Victor Huerta

It takes time, persistence, and determination to follow your dreams. At 5-feet, 5-inches tall, Huerta wasn’t the ideal height to be a matador, but that didn’t stop him from achieving his goal.

“It doesn’t matter what you want to do in life,” he said. “As long as you do it from the bottom of your heart and are passionate, you’ll make it happen.”

Huerta became a private pilot in April. He rents aircraft at Santa Monica Municipal Airport, where he enjoys flying with friends around Southern California. He’s working on an instrument rating with Skyward Aviation, the same school where he trained to earn his private pilot certificate.

“I’m a living example that you can do it,” Huerta said. “The only obstacle from accomplishing your goals is you.”

Victor Huerta in the bullfighting ring. He performed in Mexico, France, and Costa Rica.
Topics: Pilots, Pilot Training and Certification

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