10/25/2010

Francophone summit: work for the Swiss Air Force helicopter pilots

The Francophone summit, held in Montreux , had a lot of important heads of state, so aerial security was important. The Swiss Air Force pilots worked hard.


800px-Swiss_Air_Force_EC635P2+_T-352_at_BRN_(2).jpgMany of the Swiss Air Force helicopters which patrolled around Montreux during the Summit were Eurocopter EC-635-type ones. They are so popular here that the Wikipedia entry for EC635 even has a picture of one of them. This article also notes that they are used by the Royal Jordanian Air force and the Iraqi Air Force.

According to this same article, the Swiss Defence Procurement Agency ordered 18 of them only just over 4 years ago, to replace the old Alouette III, with most of them to be built by RUAG in Alpnach.

It seems as if about half of the helicopters arrived on Wednesday 20 October and then took part in the security operation on some or all of the days of the Summit. The most movements (takeoff or landing in Geneva) recorded was 19: for the helicopter with immatriculation T367. Two others had 17 movements recorded.

On something like half of the movements there was an aircraft call sign which indicated an animal. In detail, these were CHEETA16, GORIL11, LYNX06, MOOSE71 and SCORP21 : I guess that you can work out the full names of the animals fairly easily. However, there were a couple of oddities :-

LINX06 instead of LYNX06 : is this to do with the language divide in Switzerland?

MILAN26 : I have no idea if there is a related animal (in Italy, perhaps?), so can anyone tell me?

 

The comments are closed.