2. May 2017

Close Up!

A training day with the PC-7 TEAM

With its dynamic, elegant and precise flight performances, the PC-7 TEAM proves to the public that the Swiss Armed Forces are highly trained and capable of top performances. We show the crowd how we master the dynamics of military flying.

On the 27th of April  we had the chance for a very personal meeting with the whole team and their daily business: Together with some selected FORTIS friends the PC-7 Team showed us the insights of being an aerobatic.

At 0930 the training day started for us. The PC-7 TEAM pilots at that time already had flown one session.

Ahead of all, Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Stämpfli “Stampa”, together with the captain, Cyril Johner “Johnny”, who, after a short coffee, went through the briefing with the entire team for the upcoming training flight. During the briefing the formations, the current weather conditions and the flight route are defined. After all this has been discussed, we were taken to the hangar along with our guests. The machines were already lined up.

The commitement of each team member is an additional task. The pilots of the PC-7 TEAM  fulltime job usually is to fly in one of the three F / A-18 relays of the Swiss Air Force in Payerne or Meiringen. In this function they contribute to the order fulfillment of the Airforce. This includes safeguarding air traffic and securing the air police service around the clock over Switzerland.

The fact that the PC-7 TEAM pilots all fly mainly fighter jets and operate the display-aviation exclusively as an additional task, is a rarity worldwide and underlines the high efficiency of the Swiss Air Force.

We are, of course, very proud that all do wear FORTIS.

Then the engines start and the squadron takes off. While the team is flying a few rounds, another PC-7 turboprop plane is being rolled onto the hangar and we had the unique opportunity to sit behind the wheel.

Commander “Stampa” is always in contact with the team and goes out with us to the airfield to get the best possible view. And then they come out of the dense clouds – already in the famous diamond formation.

As the team moves around us, the formations change again and again.

Unfortunately, the weather is not too good and the famous loopings and other spectacular maneuvers are not possible, but these formations where the distance from plane to plane is sometimes only 3 meters and the perfectly synchronized smoke drains are also so very impressive.

After about 20 minutes, the team lands one after the other safely on the runway.

The other inhabitants of the Dübendorf military airfield must quickly clear the field.

After the flight part, a short part of “debriefing” takes place, with the once again flown bet is discussed.

Around 1230 we went to the cafeteria for lunch and each participant got a signed PC-7 TEAM brochure and matching patches for their own jackets.

At this point we would like to thank the entire PC-7 TEAM for this unique experience!

Impressions: