Skip to main content

1991 - 2000


13 December - At the Rega base of Belp/Berne a ceremony welcomes the delivery of the new Agusta A109 K2. In May 1989 the Swiss Air Rescue Foundation signed a contract with Agusta for the delivery of fifteen A109 K2. This new version of the well-known Italian helicopter will replace eleven SA 319B Alouette III and three BO-105 CBS. After the ceremony the new helicopter is presented at the HAI Heli-Expo 1992 in Las Vegas. After this important annual event the helicopter does a demonstration tour in the USA and in Mexico. When it returns to Switzerland it starts its service with the registration HB-XWA.


1 June - Fuchs Helikopter, based in Schindellegi/SZ, receives the first two MDD MD-520 Notar (NoTailRotor). On the 17th of June, after being assembled, the helicopter is tested in flight by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation. The HB-XUJ is the first Notar to be registered in Europe.


December – At the airport of Geneva-Coitrin, three Swiss helicopters are on board of the gigantic Antonov 124, waiting to be transported in Gabon/Africa. The helicopters concerned are the SA 330J Puma HB-XUV (Air Zermatt), the HB-XVI (Heli-TV), and the AS 332C1 Super Puma HB-XVY (belonging to Helog, which managed this important aerial operation). The main objective of the mission in Gabon is the distribution of medical equipments over a period of three months. One of the three crews is composed of the Swiss pilots Justin Mattia and Hermann Messerli. For this mission all the crews receive an honor from the government of Gabon.


16 August - Hans Berger, the well-known home-made helicopter builder, passes away. He lived in Ticino since the late 1960s. During his life he designed various helicopters and built the one seater Berger BX-50 and the two seater Berger BX-110.

September 1994 - Through Europavia Suisse the German aircraft manufacturer Eurocopter presents the new BK-117C1+ in Switzerland. Piloted by Otfried Blümel the helicopter, registered D-HECA, flew at various locations including Zermatt/VS. Here the helicopter simulates a rescue operation at 3'000 meters showing its excellent flight performance.
Developed from the BK-117, this version is powered by two Arriel 1E2 turboshafts each with a maximum takeoff power of 692/516 hp/kW. The tests were attended by several professional pilots including a representative of the FOCA.


9 May - Helog presents the Kaman K-1200 K-Max HB-XHJ in Küssnacht am Rigi/SZ. It is the first of its type to be registered in Switzerland. This helicopter, used as an aerial crane, is capable to lift up to 2'700 kg. It is powered by a 1007/1800 kW/shp AlliedSignal T5317A1 turbine.

29 September - Fuchs Helikopter of Schindellegi, the Swiss representative of the manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems, receives the first MD900 Explorer (s/n 0017). The twin-turbine aircraft powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206A turboshafts is shipped in a container by sea but is damaged during transport. It was repaired in the Pilatus workshops in Stans and from January 1996 it finally started to fly with the registration HB-XJF.

December - With the arrival of the Westland/Agusta-Bell 47G3B-1 HB-XJE the newly founded Groupe Hélico du Chablais, based in Bex/VD, starts its activity. The following May 4, the helicopter and the hangar will be officially inaugurated with a ceremony.


June - Heli-TV inaugurates its new helicopter base (Centro aeronautico) in Lodrino/TI. The pilot Justin Mattia does some flight demonstrations using the SA 330J Puma HB-XVI that are very much appreciated by the large number of spectators.

24-25 August - Helicopter enthusiasts can admire, among other helicopters, three Mil Mi-24 Hind of the Czech Armed Forces, during the Airshow organized by the group "VoliAmo” in Ambrì/TI. 
Despite their weight of over 11 tons these powerful models give proof of their excellent flying performances. The public is also impressed by their manageability.


1 April - A group of ex-workers of Helog AG creates the new helicopter company Rotex Helicopter AG in Balzers/FL. For its services the company uses the Kaman K-1200 K-Max registered HB-XQA.

15 May - Bohag is the first Swiss helicopter operator to purchase the new Bell 407 manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron. The new helicopter registered HB-XQC coming from Germany after an intermediate stop in Belp/BE lands at the heliport of Gsteigwiler/BE piloted by Roland Mühlemann. The Bell 407 is a light single-turbine aircraft derived from the Bell 206L-4 Long Ranger. It is powered by an Allison 250 C-47B turboshaft equipped with FADEC. In addition to the pilot it can carry 6 passengers.


17 February - REGA celebrates its 150'000 mission since its establishment (1952).

June - Heli-Linth of Mollis/GL puts in service the HB-XQJ, the first AS 350B3 Ecureuil (Squirrel or AStar) registered in Switzerland.

13-16 September - The first Swiss helicopter championship is organised in Grenchen/SO with a total of 20 crews.

10 November - Bonsai Helikopter is the first Swiss company to put in service the new French helicopter Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri, which is registered HB-ZBD. This helicopter is also the first in Switzerland to be registered with a new registration where the X is replaced with a Z.


February - Heavy snow falls paralyze Switerland's central regions. A large number of civil and military helicopter pilots are called on duty to transport hundreds of tons of supplies to the isolated population, especially in the mountain villages.

Autumn - In the Canton Valais, television producers start to shoot the fiction "Sauvetage", which narrates the adventures of a SAR helicopter crew. The stars of the series are not only the actors, but also the helicopters SE 3160 Alouette III and SA 31B Lama of Air Glaciers. However because of the script the helicopters fly for "Air Sauvetage".


June - The helicopter company Heli-TV puts in temporary service the SE 3160 Alouette III HB-XQN equipped for SAR missions. The helicopter operates for an organisation known as "ELISOS".

16 June - The Agusta A119 Koala I-KNOW is presented at Locarno airport/TI. The aircraft manufactured by Agusta is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-37A turboshaft developing a maximum take-off power of 747/1'002 kW/hp. In addition to the pilot it can carry up to 7 passengers.  
The A119 is a light multi-role helicopter derived from the A109 and configured with a single engine (as was in fact the original design of the A109) with landing gear equipped with skids instead of retractable wheels and a redesigned tail and horizontal plane.

26 September - The Valaisan village of Beuson is the scene of a tragic helicopter accident in which eight people die. The victims were seven Indian tourists who belonged to a party of around 150 who were taking five-minute sightseeing trips over the Swiss Alps in the Sion area and a helicopter pilot.
The Agusta-Bell 206B Jet Ranger III HB-XNU and the SA 316B Aloutte 3 HB-XJR both operated by Air Glaciers collided as they were preparing to land and crashed onto a football field in the village of Beuson.

21 October - The American helicopter Sikorsky S-64E Sky Crane N218AC lands for a stop at the airport of Lugano-Agno. It was being employed in Italy for fire-fighting operations. The following day it continues its flight directed to France.