08/15/2011

Thanks to Air Glacier pilots

Air Glacier helicopters and pilots have been much in evidence these last two days, coming to the aid of people in distress: our thanks to their skilled pilots.


On Sunday, 14 August, I saw the 004.JPGAir Glaciers AS35 Ecureuil helicopter, registration HB-XQJ, stationed just next to the finishing line of the famous Sierre-Zinal race. At one time it had just brought in a runner who was clearly unable to use one leg, and it seems to have been used more than once during the day.

The most likely place for Sierre-Zinal runners to have an accident is probably on the last section of the race, down from the Hotel Weisshorn to Zinal. A combination of a difficult and sometimes steep descent, the desire to achieve a good time and very tired legs is perhaps liable to lead to accidents. Often, as can be seen at the finishing line, the accidents are minor, such that the participants can complete the course somehow. However, when an accident is bad, the helicopter rescue is the quickest and most efficient.

I sometimes feel that aircraft noise follows me around, and this was actually true when, early the following morning, IMG_3725 (600 x 450).jpgthe same helicopter came to Chandolin, just metres from where I was sleeping. This time, it was apparently to pick up a neighbour who had been taken very seriously ill during the night. There is, of course, a good road up to Chandolin, but in an emergency a helicopter ride down to Sierre, or even Lausanne or Geneva hospital, is much quicker.

This particular helicopter has been detected several times around Geneva this year, most probably going from or to the Geneva Cantonal hospital. It is one case where I would never dream of making any complaint about helicopter noise.

We should all thank the pilots who fly these mercy missions.

18:15 Posted in Special days and notable incidents | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: sierre, zinal, chandolin | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

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