Siegfried (frequently nicknamed Sigi) Stangier was born in Germany in 1939. After the military service as a helicopter pilot he left the army and began his civil career. Initially he worked in Germany for Air Lloyd and much later for Heli-West as an instructor. He then came to Switzerland in the Spring of 1965 where he was employed by the entrepreneur Claudio Valsesia, the founder of Eliticino. He obtained the Swiss commercial pilot licence n° 70. Along with his work colleagues Olinto Carmine (an ex-airplane pilot), Artur Müller (a German helicopter mechanic) and Ciro D'Angelo (an Italian helicopter mechanic) he worked for Eliticino until the late Summer of 1969. In this period he had the opportunity to fly with the Agusta-Bell 47G3B-1 HB-XBY, and the Hughes 269B HB-XCE.
Probably attracted by better job opportunities (among these the possibility to fly with more modern turbine powered helicopters) Stangier move to Zermatt. Here he was employed by the homonym helicopter company becoming its chief-pilot. In September 1970 during the 2nd international search and rescue alpine symposium he presented the helicopter's abilities to perform a direct rescue along the famous Eiger north wall. In 1972 he came to the rescue of 68 passengers trapped in the cabin of the Schiltorn's cableway. For this and other incredible missions he became the first European to win the Helicopter Heroism Award in May 1976. This American distinction (assigned to crews or individuals) has recognized some of the most dramatic displays of courage and heroism involving the use of an helicopter.
On September 28, 1981, while he was training a new pilot on the SA 315B Lama, he was forced to do an emergency landing. Despite the fact that he was seriously injured, a few weeks later he was once again ready to restart his activity.
He flew for Air Zermatt until 1987 and then for REGA until his retirement in 1994. When he stopped his flying activity he had logged more than 13'000 flight hours under his belt and 3'000 SAR missions.
During his career he published “Retter, die von Himmel kommen” (Rescuers who come from the sky) a book with the short account of his incredible rescue missions. Siegfried Stangier was a true pioneer of the modern air rescue techniques. During his free time he had a passion for photography and took pictures of the Matterhorn and nature. Unfortunately he died in Flüelen/UR after a severe illness on December 6, 1997.
Here are some videos filmed in Ticino when Sigi Stangier was employed on behalf of Eliticino.
The video was made on October 16, 1965 at the old heliport of Bellinzona (also known as the aviation field "Prato Lorenzi") where the helicopter company Eliticino, founded by the entrepreneur Claudio Valsesia, moved its first steps. The film shows pilot Siegfried Stangier while he performs some aerial stunts.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gWyOXqEPMQ&feature=related
The video filmed by G. Chiesa shows the helicopter Agusta-Bell 47G3B-1 HB-XBY in service with Eliticino while it transports building material for the construction of a prefabricated hut. The helicopter pilot is Siegfried (Sigi) Stangier.
Watch the video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quCBQ3StCt0&feature=youtu.be