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Sign of respect

Popular Air Force display cancelled after fatal crashes

An annual public Air Force demonstration has been cancelled out of respect to three pilots who died in two separate crashes within the last few weeks. The live firing event in Axalp, canton Bern, attracts large crowds of spectators every year.

The display was called off following a military helicopter crash earlier this week, which killed the pilot and co-pilot and injured a flight assistant, and an accident on August 29 that claimed the life of an F/A-18 fighter jet.

The Super Puma helicopter came down in the central Swiss Alps on Wednesday after dropping off members of an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission inspecting Swiss army installations.

The F/A-18 jet crashed into a rock face at the Susten Pass, central Switzerland, last month during exercises.

Defence Minister Guy Parmelin took the decision to cancel the public Axalp event, which was due to be staged on October 12-13. The Swiss Air Force has also scrapped a separate exercise in the same region that would have taken place October 11-13.

A statement said the cancellations were “out of considering and respect” for the four victims of the crashes.



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