My first encounter with aviation was back in the year 1998 when I was six years old. A helicopter company from Switzerland parked their Hughes 300 helicopter for several weeks on our farm. This was the moment the flying bug bit me and I wanted to become a pilot.
Finally, ten years later, I started to learn the theory for fixed wing aircraft. After a lot of classroom sessions and flying lessons across Switzerland, I earned my Private Pilot license for Fixed Wing Aircraft two weeks after my driver’s license. The next ten years were marked with a lot of flights around Europe. Some highlights included the low level flights along the coast of Corsica, the landing on Elba island with a steep approach, a trip to Prague to explore the nightlife and many many more.
But there was still something in the back of my mind – the world of rotary wings. I had to decide between the course for flight instructors on fixed wings or to change the direction to rotary wings. Various happenings led me to do the training for helicopters and I don’t regret it.
I looked out for a school which has the Hughes 300 helicopter in their fleet. This wasn’t very easy because the Hughes 300 is getting very rare in Switzerland - but I found what I was looking for. And so it was the time again to learn some theories - the heli specific subjects. Better times were coming, namely the practical training. Within 10 months, I also passed my helicopter license, 21 years after my first meeting with a rotary wing. Shortly thereafter, the company sold their Hughes 300 helicopters. So I stood there with a license but no helicopter.
Fortunately, only a few minutes from my home is a flight school which owns one of the last Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopters in Switzerland. I decided to change my flight school to do the typerating on this nostalgic rotary wing aircraft. Only the sound of the engine is something special every time.
Actually, I'm living the dream of flying rotary wings. Simultaneously, I'm building hours for my CPL. Additionally, we have to do a so-called Mountain Rating in Switzerland to do landings in mountainous areas and official mountain landing sites. These are my flying targets in the near future. The most important thing is never to lose the joy of what you're doing.