The Swiss Air Force show teams will take to the skies again later this month – now under stricter safety measures following accidents in St Moritz and the Netherlands.
The Swiss Armed Forces announced on Tuesday that pilot training would resume next week, and that safety standards for air shows had been raised. Solo pilots will now perform at an elevation of 60 metres rather than 46m, and groups will fly at 92m rather than 60m above the ground.
PC-7 pilots will also have to keep a greater distance from each other. The new policy requires three metres of space between planes; previously, it was two.
In February, a PC-7 jet performing as part of Patrouille Suisse’s aerobatic teamexternal link clipped a television cable above the finish line at the skiing world championships in St Moritz, sending a camera plummeting to the ground and briefly interrupting the event. No one was injured.
Last June, two Patrouille Suisse F-5 jets collided near a Dutch air base, with one crashing in a pond and the other landing safely with a damaged tail. The pilot of the plane that fell in the water ejected and landed in a greenhouse with cuts and bruises.
The two incidents are under investigation, stated the military in a releaseexternal link.