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Seydoux Jean

Jean Seydoux was born in Herbligen/BE on April 3, 1919. After an apprenticeship as an automobile mechanic, he worked for some years for an electric company. He was then employed by the Alpar company of Belp and specialized as an airplane mechanic. He was, for example, instructed in the maintenance of the DC-3 engine.
In the autumn of 1948 while he was working for Alpar he started the airplane pilot school. He then obtained the commercial pilot licence and logged a fairly good flight experience. In the meantime he did some courses for the maintenance of the Hiller helicopters.

With the creation of the Schweizerische Helikopter AG he specialized as a helicopter mechanic along with his work colleagues Haldimann and Röhm. This is the reason why in 1953 he went to France to the Fenwick Aviation company to be trained in the maintenance of the Bell 47.
In the autumn of 1961 he started the training course as a helicopter pilot obtaining the commercial licence n° 52 on October 16, 1962.

He then occasionally worked as a reserve pilot until the the Spring of 1963 when he was finally employed as a full time pilot by Heliswiss.
At the beginning he intensively flew in Ticino, where he especially did aerial supply of mountain construction sites and alpine huts.
On October 31, 1968 he obtained the licence as a helicopter instructor.
During his aviation career he was involved in several accidents, the last of which was unfortunately fatal.
On April 9, 1980 he took-off from Belp for a night instruction flight with a student. Much later the bad weather forced them to return to the base. While flying low over the motorway near Kiesen/BE the helicopter hit the cables of an electric power line and crashed.
In the accident both occupants died.

When this accident occurred Seydoux was probably the most experienced helicopter pilot in Switzerland. He had in fact logged more than 10'000 hours of flight, most of them on the Bell 47 series.
He also flew with others models such as the Agusta-Bell 204B, the Bell 206 Jet Ranger, the Hughes 300 and 500, the Alouette III, the SA 315B Lama and the MBB BO-105.

HAB 07/2009