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Heli-Linth AG

On the 1st of November 1972 a new helicopter company, named Linth Helikopter AG, was officially founded in Mollis/GL with a financial capital of 50’000 Sfr.
Mr. Hans Coppetti was initially its president as well as its shareholder along with doctor Peter Rutschmann, who was also an active member of SARG. Both were in possession of a licence as commercial helicopter pilots.
The first aircraft to be used by the newly founded company was the Hughes 269C HB-XDU which was also one of the first of this series to be registered in Switzerland. Previously, for a short period, it was privately flown by Dr. Rutschmann.
The Hughes 269C could carry two passengers or a suspended load of about 200 kg. It was mainly used to transport passengers and goods in the area, to supply alpine huts and rustics, and to descend the cheese produced in the mountain pastures.

The first two pilots were the same Rutschmann and Coppetti. By 1974 Peter Kolesnik joined the small team and much later became chief-pilot, director and shareholder of the company for almost thirty years.
That same year a second Hughes 269C registered HB-XEH was purchased by the company for about 180’000 Sfr. However the increasing request of aerial transportation forced then the company to put in service a larger helicopter.
Consequently in the Spring 1978 it purchased the Agusta-Bell 206B Jet Ranger II HB-XEZ previously in service with SARG. The new turbine powered helicopter (nicknamed by its pilots D'Vreneli) could carry four passengers or a suspended load of about 400 kg.

At the beginning the young company was assisted by other helicopter operators such as Fuchs Helikopter the Heliswiss. The first lend its helicopters and the second, when necessary, did the maintenance or revision work on the aircrafts.

The Ecureuil arrives
In 1978 the company ordered the new French helicopter AS 350B Ecureuil (or also called AStar or Squirrel) HB-XGW which became the first of this series to be registered in Switzerland.
In the meantime the original name of the company was changed to Heli-Linth AG and the equity capital increased. In fact for the purchase of the new Ecureuil there was a need for about 650’000 Sfr., a high price tag for the small company. That is why the HB-XEH was sold in Italy where it was registered I-CAFF.
The new helicopter was put in service in the Spring of 1979. It could transport five passengers or an underslung load of about 700 kg. Its performances were much appreciated by the pilots who nicknamed it "D’Fridolin

Thanks to this helicopter the commercial services of the company were increasingly appreciated by a growing number of clients, such as for example, guardians of alpine huts, mountaineers, and a large number of private and small construction companies which took advantage of the aircrafts to transport building materials up in the mountains of the region. Since then Heli Linth continues, almost exclusively, to use Ecureuils.
In 1988 a second hangar was built in addition to the existing one.
In 1990 the helicopters of the company were intensively used, especially for logging. That year in fact the hurricane Vivian toppled over almost five million cubic meters of timbers, the equivalent of Switzerland's average yearly timber harvest. For the first time since its establishment, the fleet of the the company logged altogether more than 2’000 hours of flight.
In 1998 Heli-Linth purchased the HB-XQJ, the first Ecureuil of the B3 series registered in Switzerland. Since then this successful helicopter was purchased by a large number of Swiss helicopters operators.

Since the year 2000 the company has used other helicopter models for more or less short periods such as the twin-engine Bell 430, the EC 120 Colibrì and MD902 Explorer. The latter was usually used for VIP flights or SAR missions.
By the end of the year 2000 a new machine shop was inaugurated.

Heli Linth nowadays
Today the company offers a wide set of aerial services such as the transportation of passengers and goods, aerial assembly, fire fighting, logging.
Its helicopters fly not only in the Canton of Glarus, but also in the neighbouring Cantons of Schwyz, Uri, Appenzell and St. Gallen. To reduce the transfer costs, the company often offers its clients a pre-established weekly program.
Heli-Linth actively cooperate with Rega and the police corps. Among its main work partners there are Heli Bernina and Rotex Helicopter.

HAB 05/2011