FRidh's blog

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought -- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Swiss Air Force demonstrations in Duebendorf

The headquarters of the Swiss Air Force is located in Duebendorf, and the airstrip of the base is not that far from where I work. Often you can see paratroopers and helicopters or hear other aircraft take off.

Occasionally, one of the demonstration teams practices. So far I've only seen the PC-7 Team, which use Swiss-manufactered Pilatus PC-7 turbo prop trainers. These aircraft can be quite noisy. Actually, it's not that the sound is very loud, it's just that the sound can be annoying. The propellors have a strong directivity and therefore, as they do their maneuvers, the level goes up and down.

They don't practice that often, and their sessions generally don't last more than a couple of hours. Therefore, I can't really be bothered too much by it. If I hear them, and it bothers me, I just close my window or turn the music up a bit. But what astonishes me is that they actually do these activities above dense populated areas. Many people are living and working in the area. What if an accident occurs?

I realize there aren't many places in Switzerland where they could build airstrips and do this kind of training without flying over someone's home. But flying over a dense area like this or flying over one or two farms is quite a difference. I am curious now to their risk assessment and how they've eventually decided to keep doing these activities here.

To conclude, these activities can be noisy, and perhaps also dangerous. However, on a more positive note, they also provide good entertainment during your break!