Juan Velarde is currently one of Spain’s top aviators. He is a commercial pilot for Iberia Airlines, flying as a Captain on the Airbus A330. He began flying gliders at 15 and made his first solo flight when he turned 16. After finishing school, Velarde went to Anchorage, Alaska for a private pilot course and returned to Spain, where he worked towing gliders while studying to become a commercial pilot in Madrid and Florida. He later became a flight instructor in Fort Worth, Texas. In Spain he worked as a freight pilot and joined Iberia at just 22 years old.
Velarde began flying aerobatics in 1999 and later joined the Spanish National Aerobatic Team. He took part in all the European and World Aerobatic Championships between 2004 and 2011. He helped Spain win the team silver medal at the 2007 World Aerobatic Championship and one silver and two bronze medals at the European Aerobatic Championships 2006, 2008 and 2014. He has two gold, four silver, and one bronze medal in Spain’s National Championships, and in 2010 he won the Spanish overall Aerobatics Championship. Since 2006 he has been an Elite Sportsman by the Spanish Sports Council.
Currently he performs solo and formation aerobatics displays with his partners of the Bravo3/Repsol Aerobatic Team and, as an aviation enthusiast, he flies historic aircraft with the vintage airplane collection Fundación Infante de Orleans.
Between 2014 and 2019 Juan has been the only Spaniard competing in the world’s fastest motor racing championship: the Red Bull Air Race.