5-11 July - Sud Aviation presents the helicopters SE 3160 Alouette III F-WJSB and SE 3130 Alouette II F-BHOF. The latter is equipped for aerial video shooting. On the 6th of July the Alouette III piloted by Jean Boulet does a series of aerial trials at the airport of Ambrì where a course for military pilots is taking place. On the 11th of July the French helicopters do some demonstrations at the airport of Belp/BE.
25 August - The 19 years old Heidi Berger is the first (Swiss) female pilot to fly over the Swiss Alps. She take off from the airport of Speck-Fehraltdorf/ZH with a Brantly B.2 and she then lands in Samedan/GR.
July - The Sikorsky S-58C F-OBON belonging to the French company Gyrafrance is temporarily employed by Heliswiss. The helicopter transports building equipment for the construction of a power line in Engadina/GR.
None of the helicopters in service in Switzerland are capable to lift these precast elements weighting 350-400 kg, which are deposited at 3'000 meters asl.
Spring-Summer - Heliswiss receives its first Agusta-Bell 204B. The new turbine-powered helicopter has a greater lift capacity than the small Bell 47 series and can fly 9 passengers in its cabin, or up to 1'000 kg suspended on its barycentric hook. This lift capacity will be later increased up to 1'500 kg, thanks to the installation of a more powerful turbine.
Heliswiss rents in Germany the Sikorsky S-64A Sky Crane D-9510. The powerful helicopter is used to transport heavy equipment to build a drill station in an isolated area named Gana Bubaira on the Lukmanier Pass region.
At the controls of the Sikorsky S-64A there is the American Jack Porth (pilot Sikorsky), along with the German co-pilot Heinz Hofmann (pilot VFW) and flight engineer Ulrich Heider (VFW)
The equipment (total weight about 114 tons) is deposited aside the road near the Alp Casaccia (1'820 m amsl) and is transported in 30 rotations to Gana Bubaira (2'180 m amsl). Some elements weigh nearly 7 tons.
It is the first time that a Sikorsky S-64A Sky Crane is used to transport at this altitude.
June – The Agusta-Bell 47G-3B-1 HB-XBY, purchased by the Ticinese businessman Claudio Valsesia, begins its activity in Ticino.
A few months later the helicopter is officially named “Eli Ticino” during a ceremony organized in Giubiasco/TI.
1 August - The Valaisan company Air Glaciers starts its activity in Sion/VS under the direction of Bruno Bagnoud. The first two helicopter pilots of the company are Hermann Geiger and Fernand Martignoni.
6 August - Hermann Geiger lands in Sion/VS with the SE 3160 Alouette III HB-XCB, the new helicopter purchased by Air Glaciers
This helicopter is the first civil Alouette III to be registered in Switzerland.
18 April – The gigantic Russian helicopter Mil Mi-6, registered CCCP 06174, lands in Berne piloted by the captain Vasily P. Koloshenko. The spectators are astonished by the exceptional dimensions and load capacity of the “Hook”. Its two Soloviev D-25B turbines have a total power of 8,206/11,000 kW/shp. This giant of the air can lift up to 12 tons (or up to 9 tons on a cargo sling), or 65 passengers in its cabin. Its maximum take off weight is 42.5 tons! The helicopter is used for a series of exceptional transportations. In Herisau it set in position some concrete pylons weighting 7 tons, then it flies the cabin of a new cableway up on the Schilthorn (at 2'970 meters). In Burgdorf the Mil-6 lifts the structure of a prefabricated roof which is then set directly in position on top of the Federal Office of Metrology in Wabern.
At the end of these flights the Russians offer Heliswiss the chance to purchase the helicopter with its spare parts for 7 million Swiss Francs. Heliswiss refuses the offer for various reasons (the lack of money is probably the main one).
24-29 May - The French pilot Gérard Henry presents the SA 321 Super Frelon F-ZWWJ in Switzerland. On the 25th of May the helicopter flies 93 tons of building material in the region of Gebidem/VS. Several other flights are done in the following days. Some of the cargos weight up to 4.3 tons. During the week-end of May 28-29 the helicopter flies to Sion where an aviation meeting is organized. During the demonstration it flies a group of firemen and their equipment.
24 August - The aeroplane pilot Manfredo Marazza, who was taught by Heliswiss' Jean Seydoux, is the first Ticinese to obtain a civil helicopter commercial licence. The first helicopter pilot in Ticino is Vivando Formentini who however was a military pilot.
26 August - The Valaisan Hermann Geiger, one of the most famous alpine pilot pioneers in Switzerland, dies in a mid-air collision in Sion/VS. During the take off his Piper hits a sailplane which was in the landing phase. The glider pilot also dies few days later. The student seated on the Piper along with Geiger is seriously injured.
18-22 September - The Swiss Air SARG held the first Swiss Air-Rescue international helicopter symposium on the Kleine Scheidegg. Several inovations such the rescue knots line and the horizontal net, used for rescuing victims from inaccessible places where it was impossible for a helicopter to land, were presented to the audience.
22 March - The French helicopter SA 321 Super Frelon F-WJUX is used to fly the dome (weighting 1'440 kg) of the observatory of the Jungfraujoch at 3'573 meters. However the attempt fails for various reasons.
The limited fuel reserve forces the French pilot Jean Boulet to quickly fly back to the base. During the return flight the dome falls off and is destroyed on a snow covered surface of the Grisighorn/VS south of Brig.
5 May - In a trivial aviation accident the aviation photographer, publicist and documentary producer Hans Beat Burgunder loses his life. During the flight towards the base of Belp/Berne the helicopter, which is used for a series of aerial pictures, crashes in a forest few minutes before the planned landing.
The main reasons of this tragic accident are a shortage of fuel due to a mechanical failure and an inappropriate flying tactic.
June – Arriving from Paris where it was presented during the Air Show the prototype of the American helicopter Hughes 500 registered N9000F lands in Geneva-Cointrin to be officially presented. The helicopter which is a civil development of the OH-6A is piloted by Hal Hawkins.
This model is accomplishing its second European tour.
Have a look at the video taken in Geneva: http://archives.tsr.ch/player/integrale-mcar670608
12 September - Aztec AG purchases the first Jet Ranger registered in Switzerland. It is the Agusta-Bell 206A Jet Ranger HB-XCF powered with an Allison 250-C18 236/317 kW/shp turbine. The following year this helicopter will appear in the movie "On her Majesty's secret service", the sixth episode of the James Bond series.
13 January - The pilot Ueli Bärfuss is ordered a special task by SARG. Using the helicopter Agusta-Bell 47G-3B-1 HB-XBW he must save an old mountain farmer who does not want to leave his mule on its own. The farmer lives in a hut on the Alp Hinter Tersana/GR and is isolated by a heavy snow fall. Only when the mule is safely flown to the village, do they manage to convince him to leave the hut. This is the first time that a SARG helicopter is used to rescue an animal.
April – In the famous touristic resort of Zermatt, the homonym helicopter company Air Zermatt starts its flying activity.
For its aerial services the new helicopter company employs the Agusta-Bell 206A Jet Ranger HB-XCL piloted by the German Günter Amann.
20 December - SARG purchase its first turbine powered helicopter. It is the Agusta-Bell 206A Jet Ranger registered HB-XCU. The helicopter is used for several years in Central Switzerland and is later replaced with the more spacious and powerful Alouette III.
16 May – The Swiss Robert Stierlin, known for his home-built helicopters, loses his life together with his passenger while testing his fifth prototype (see picture). Since 1948 Stierlin had built 5 helicopters, 4 of which were tested by the inventor with various degrees of success.
24-26 September - During the second International alpine helicopter forum organized by Swiss Air Rescue Guard on the Kleine Scheidegg Air Zermatt's Alouette III HB-XDA lowers five climbers on the famous extreme steep north wall of the Eiger and then lifts them back into the cabin.