December 23, 2020

Emergency Airworthiness Directives (EAD) for Pilatus training aircrafts

It began a few weeks ago with an 1st Emergency Airworthiness Directive for the Harley-type buckle assemblies in the seat harness of the ejection seat on Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft. French Air Force recognised a problem and informed Martin Baker/Pilatus and the respective governments:

Pilatus PC-21 is the latest turboprop-powered advanced military training aircraft and in use by the Air Forces of Australia (49), France (17), Jordan (12), Qatar (24), Saudi Arabia (55), Singapore (19), Spain (24, 1st delivery end of 2020; will replace mainly the CASA C-101 Aviojet, but will also take over advanced training which is currently carried out on the T-35 Pillan), Switzerland (8), United Arab Ermirates (25) and the United Kingdom (2 for advanced training in ETPS).

At this moment (December 23rd), there are all modern military training aircraft systems of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd listed with the same problem of requiring a specific inspection.

December 11, 2020

Trial: Swiss Hornet Pilot that crashed in France in 2015 acquitted

The 43-year-old F/A-18 fighter jet pilot was charged with multiple negligent failure to comply with service regulations before Military Court II in Aarau.

The pilot was also acquitted of allegations of misuse and leakage of material. The court refrains from disciplinary punishment. The auditor had requested a conditional fine of 60 daily rates. The defense attorney demanded an acquittal.

The F / A-18 fighter jet crashed uncontrollably near the French town of Glamondans and was totally destroyed. According to the indictment, there was a total loss of around 55 million francs.

During the two-day trial, the pilot had reported the problems during combat training. Until the end he did not know what problem he had. It was about preventing flying into the ground. It was an emergency."I only had one try, only a few seconds. I did what I could," he said. In all other accidents in the past 25 years, the Swiss pilots with the F/A-18 crashed and died. "I have chosen life," said the pilot.

With the happy ending of this story I will also publish my favourite cartoon to this incident, made by Tagesanzeiger cartoonist Kurt Schaad:

(And I say Pierre, that was not a duck !)

December 10, 2020

December 05, 2020

Pilot of Hornet Crash 2015 in France now on trial

 The aircraft - Hornet D J-5235 - crashed during an air combat training with two F-5 Tiger II in the binational EUC25 training area near Glamondance (F) on october 14th, 2015. Pilot ejected with only minor injuries and is now on trial for not following rules/emergency procedures to safe the aircraft.

The Pilot - Martin H. - was one of three test pilots for flying the Gripen due the evaluation 2014 and can be seen here on an swiss television documentary. The presumption of innocence continues to apply to the accused pilot:

The aircraft crashed was mainly in use by armasuisse as a test aircraft with special wiring - seen here in january 2004 

Reports of the french/swiss investigation (on June 13th, 2017) stated that (source):

 ... In the last exercise phase, the left engine of the F / A-18D stalled, which resulted in a drop in engine performance. The aircraft began to roll to the left with an unwanted rolling motion and quickly lost altitude. The pilot was no longer able to bring the aircraft into a stable flight position. Shortly afterwards he operated the ejector seat. The plane then crashed on an arable land near the village of Glamondans in the French Jura. The pilot survived slightly injured.

.../ ... 

Based on these results, the F / A-18 pilot is initially suspected of violating Art. 72 MStG (non-compliance with service regulations) and Art. 73 MStG (misuse and waste of material). In order to be able to determine whether a criminal act was committed in a specific case, the examining magistrate asked divisional officer Bernhard Müller, deputy commander and chief operations officer of the Air Force, to order a preliminary investigation. The latter approved the application and ordered a preliminary investigation.

The presumption of innocence continues to apply to the accused pilot.

F / A-18 crash of 2015: Main hearing in military court (source)

Bern, 11/24/2020 - On December 9, 2020, the main hearing against the pilot of the F / A-18 fighter plane, which crashed in 2015 in the French Jura, begins in Aarau before Military Court 2. He is accused of multiple negligent non-compliance with service regulations as well as negligent abuse and waste of material.

From December 9 to 11, 2020, the main hearing of Military Court 2 against the pilot of the F / A-18 fighter aircraft will take place in Aarau, which crashed on October 14, 2015 as part of air combat training near the French village of Glamondans near the Swiss border. The indictment accuses the pilot of multiple negligent non-compliance with service regulations as well as negligent misuse and waste of material. The trial is expected to last three days. Military Court 2 is presided over by Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Rüedi.

The hearing begins on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 8:15 a.m., in the Chamber of the Commercial Court of the Canton Aargau (Obere Vorstadt 40, 5000 Aarau). It's public. The number of visitor places is limited due to the protective measures in connection with COVID-19.

Media representatives and other interested persons who want to take part in the main public hearing are asked to register with the Communication Military Justice Department by Friday, December 4, 2020 at the latest. The registered persons will be informed up to two days before the main hearing whether they can take part in the main hearing. Identification and registration is required in the courthouse. The registered media workers will be sent additional information (including indictment) about the proceedings before the main hearing.

shortly after the crash a rapid response unit deployed to the crash site in France out of Meiringen

November 23, 2020

YORKNITE 2020 - night flying of Swiss Hornets in scotland

Our Hornets are migrating to the north again - since many years the night flying training campaign is held in Norway and Scotland. Up to ten Hornets will be based on RAF Leeming from November 24th 'til December 18th,2020.

press release - source:

November 18, 2020

Air2030: Second proposals for new fighter aircraft and extended-range ground-based air defence systems received

 (press release text - source) 

Bern, 18.11.2020 - The government authorities of the potential candidates for a new fighter aircraft (NFA) and an extended-range ground-based air defence system (Bodluv GR) submitted their second proposal to armasuisse on November 18, 2020. With that, armasuisse starts to work on the evaluation reports, which are planned to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

On November 18, 2020, armasuisse received the second proposals for new fighter aircraft from the government authorities of the four potential manufacturers: Germany (Airbus Eurofighter), France (Dassault Rafale) and the USA (Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed-Martin F-35A). In the second request for proposal, the companies contacted via the government authorities were requested to submit the most advantageous proposal for Switzerland.

The proposals include the following elements:

• prices for 36 and 40 aircraft, including defined logistics and weapons, as a binding starting point for the detailed negotiations with the selected candidate after the type selection

• offers for cooperation between the armed forces and the procurement authorities of Switzerland and those of the supplier country

• envisaged or already initiated offset projects

New extended-range ground-based air defence system

On November 18, 2020, armasuisse received the second proposals for extended-range ground-based air defence systems from the government authorities of the two potential manufacturers: France (Eurosam SAMP/T) and the USA (Raytheon Patriot). As with the new fighter aircraft, the companies contacted via the government authorities were requested to submit the most advantageous proposal for Switzerland..

The offers include the following elements:

• price for extended-range ground-based defence systems capable of covering at least 15,000 km2, including defined logistics and weapons, as a binding starting point for the detailed negotiations with the selected candidate after the type selection

• offers for cooperation between the armed forces and the procurement authorities of Switzerland and those of the supplier country

• envisaged or already initiated offset projects

Next steps in the Air2030 programme

The overall benefit of each system will be determined using the information from the second proposal and the findings from the various testing activities. The results, together with a comprehensive risk analysis, will feed into the evaluation report, where the overall benefit of the new fighter aircraft and the new extended-range ground-based air defence system will be set against the costs of procurement and 30 years of operation. The evaluation reports are planned to be concluded in the 1st quarter of 2021. The type selection by the Federal Council is planned for both systems in the 2nd quarter of 2021.

Address for enquiries

Kaj-Gunnar Sievert

Head of Communications armasuisse

+41 58 464 62 47

November 11, 2020

Recertification of common training area Italy - Switzerland (LBA)

Introduced as an test in 2009, the common training area above Misox/Chiavenna/Engiadina and Veltlin is recertified by both partners on November 11th, 2020.

Both Air Forces can use this area - especially with the training of medium range air-to-air combats with AIM-120 AMRAAM Switzerland is in need of some bigger combat areas. 

Italy Air Force can also use Emmen and Payerne to guide intercepted aircrafts for a landing in Switzerland.


November 03, 2020

Flight activity schedule for MEIRINGEN 2021

 After the strange year 2020, we will try it again in 2021 - Meiringen has published the new schedule already !

Planning includes weeks with activity on based F-5 Tiger II and PC-21.

Public Basevisits (inside !) on april 21st and october 27th, inscription at local tourism organisation.

October 23, 2020

No belgian F-16 this year in Meiringen ?

 I received multiple news lately about visitors in Switzerland - but the data is possibly very inaccurate. It looks that the belgian visit was cancelled due Covid.

pic in big

October 13, 2020

Training Course of the PC-7 Team next week

 Last chance also for the PC-7 Display Team to train this year - each day two displays above Dübendorf base:

Have a good flightweek and stay safe dear Team !

October 08, 2020

Cat's in the west - NAS Oceana 1999

With no chances to watch new and interesting things in switzerland due work (no short time in my business), I like to dig in my archives. And as Cat-Owner (ok, I'm the servant of an cat is more precise) - the fluffy one - I always also liked the steal ones. May be planning an bicycle tour throug persia in the coming years to catch some more in the air ....

For more of my collection of the NAS Oceana Air Show in 1999, visit

October 07, 2020

Defense Security Cooperation Agency publishes wish list for US equipment in AIR2030 evaluation process

The American Defense Security Cooperation Agency published more info about the whish list in weaponery for the future new fighter aircraft (NKF, Neues KampfFlugzeug). The exact numbers of for example Sidewinder 9X Tactical and Captive Training Missiles and bombs are named. Especially the latter is producing high tensions in Switzerland - a lot of people had not read the small text in the last votation. .... In Switzerland these data is called Top Secret ....

Switzerland - F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft and Weapons

Switzerland - F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Aircraft and Weapons

Also of interest are the numbers for the (US-based) Air Defence part of the AIR2030 competition:

Switzerland - Patriot Configuration-3+ Modernized Fire Units and Weapons

October 03, 2020

Repetition course TA1 in SST

Normally based in Payerne, TA 1 (Helicopter) is making there yearly repetition course out of the former Swiss Air Force base of St. Stephan the next weeks:

SST is known for the famous Hunterfest and has an webcam - so you can watch some activity there:

Webcam SST

October 01, 2020

relaxing with a kingfisher

After the last couple of days with a lot of psychical stress due the votation, especially the results, I decided to calm down again with some hours at a nearby lake - including kingfisher !


September 27, 2020

YES - bare majority of the swiss population for new fighters !

This time the government was on the lucky side - they evaded those stupid failures of some exponents like at the Gripen votation a few years ago.

But with about 50% of the population against this budget they have to put on guard how to proceed further.

Next step: 2nd offer of the bidders for new fighter aircraft and air defense systems in november 2020

(updated chart 29.09.2020)

September 25, 2020

Patrouille Suisse training weeks - 4th and final try for 2020


A never ending story nears it's end - Patrouille Suisse published another schedule. It's the final try for this year. All others where cancelled due the pandemic.

2020 brochure of the team can be found here (pdf)

September 24, 2020

Last Antonov AN-124 for RUAG Emmen produced ATLAS rocket tops next week


Due new production factory in the United States, the Antonov AN-124 takes delivery of the upper rocket part for the last time in Emmen. ARR September 29th, DEP one day later.

The big transporter was seen about 32 times in the last 20 years in Emmen - mostly for ARIANE and ATLAS parts, but like seen on this picture also for humanitarian/technical aid in 2004. ARIANA parts will still be produced in Emmen, but transport of the parts will be via road/ship to Amsterdam. Only if time is limited, those parts will be transported by airplane.

September 22, 2020

Sniper on board - interesting exercise above Payerne

 This week our Air Force is making an interesting exercise with an temporary no-flight zone around Payerne. Super Puma/Cougar with Sniper on board is making an MilCAP in the area Fribourg / Düdingen.

September 17, 2020

Hornets invades Mollis AB next week

If weather permits, there will be a couple of Hornets taking posession of former Air Force Base in Mollis. Planned date is September 21st, but it can be a day or two later.

Exercise lasts only one day and not much activity planned except the landing and departure, 2-4 Hornets are planned.

Pictures taken due last repetition course in Mollis with F-5E/F Tiger II aircrafts, including a small airshow with an then brand new visiting Hornet (above) - 1998 !

August 20, 2020

'Pablo' will be new Commander of the Swiss Air Force in 2021

 Actually in charge for the evaluation of the new combat aircraft, former Fighter Squadron 11 leader and base commander for Meiringen - Peter 'PABLO' Merz will be Commander of the Swiss Air Force from July 1st, 2021. Congratulations !

August 14, 2020

new 2020 brochure of PC-7 Team


With a little hope we will see the PC-7 Team in action this year - if not this new brochure will help over our loss ....

-> the brochure can be downloaded here (pdf)

August 07, 2020

Display Teams training weeks cancelled due COVID-19

 This year is a very hard year - at the moment all training weeks are cancelled. Let's hope it will get better in october for another chance.