THE PC-7 TEAM

Das PC-7 TEAM

Power - Elegance - Precision

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The PC-7 TEAM showcases the high level of training and performance of both the Swiss Armed Forces and the Swiss Air Force by flying dynamic, elegant and precise manoeuvres. With their culture of commitment and discipline, the pilots prove to the public that they master the challenges of top-level military flying. Flight safety and teamwork are top priorities during the professional displays by the PC-7 TEAM, which are characterised by clear flight paths, attractive formation changes and varied manoeuvres. It is therefore no surprise that the team with its nine Pilatus PC-7 trainers enthrals tens of thousands of spectators every year and is highly regarded at home and abroad.

The team

Part-time job: formation aerobatics performed at the highest level

Formation aerobatics performed in propeller planes are highly challenging even for proficient military pilots. Therefore, all team members are pilots from the Air Force's Professional Aviator Corps who normally fly the F/A-18 Hornet, helping to fulfil the air force's mission of safeguarding air sovereignty and carrying out air policing missions in Swiss airspace.

The PC-7 TEAM is made up exclusively of F/A-18 career military pilot who perform displays as a second job; this is rare in the military aerobatics community worldwide and proves the high performance capacity of the Swiss Air Force.

The 2018 PC-7 TEAM: (from left to right) Capt Philippe "Philippe" Hertig, Capt Mario "Blacky" Schwarz, Capt Marius "Crus" Krüsi, Capt Cyril "Johnny" Johner, Lt Col Daniel "Stampa" Stämpfli, Capt Matthias "Nemo" Grossen, Capt Matthew "Murphy" Leavy, Capt Benjamin "Daffy" Matthey-de-l’Endroit, Capt Andreas "Menkster" Menk, Capt Mario "Thöma" Thöni, Capt Alain "Fondü" von Büren, Spec Off Cedric "Cedi" Spörri.
The 2018 PC-7 TEAM: (from left to right) Capt Philippe "Philippe" Hertig, Capt Mario "Blacky" Schwarz, Capt Marius "Crus" Krüsi, Capt Cyril "Johnny" Johner, Lt Col Daniel "Stampa" Stämpfli, Capt Matthias "Nemo" Grossen, Capt Matthew "Murphy" Leavy, Capt Benjamin "Daffy" Matthey-de-l’Endroit, Capt Andreas "Menkster" Menk, Capt Mario "Thöma" Thöni, Capt Alain "Fondü" von Büren, Spec Off Cedric "Cedi" Spörri.

The history

The history of the PC-7 TEAM

Das PC-7 TEAM in der Luft

In the 70s, the Air Force laid the basis for today's internationally renowned PC-7 TEAM by having two Pilatus P-3 pilots perform synchronised aerobatics. After the introduction of the Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer in 1982, solo performances were flown with this new orange and silver colour scheme trainer aircraft. For the 1987 Air Force championships, Colonel Hansruedi Ruesch, the Commander of the Surveillance Wing at the time, decided that a formation of nine PC-7s should take to the air. On 20 July 1987, the first group of nine volunteers met for a three-day training course at the Swiss Air Force pilot training facility in Locarno. The formation thrilled the spectators with their first public performance at Dubendorf on 29 August 1987.

1989, however, is considered the foundation year, when the team was officially brought together for the celebrations to mark 75 years of the Swiss Air Force. Nine pilots, led by Major Res Dubs, tackled the task of setting up an attractive programme that was intended to demonstrate every aspect of aerobatics performed with propeller planes. From 1989 onwards, the Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM thrilled the public with their performances several times a year. In 1992, the "neuf magnifiques" were bold enough to take their first step, or rather flight, abroad and showed their skills to a delighted crowd in Avord, France.

In 1998, the disbandment of the nine-propeller aircraft aerobatic team for cost saving reasons was seriously discussed. However, the then Federal Councillor Adolf Ogi passionately defended the team, the only one of its kind in the world, and guaranteed its continued existence. The number of performances increased considerably from then on: Monaco, England, Germany, France, Sweden and many other European countries were added to the annual list of venues. In 1998, the team even showcased its skills in Israel. Over the years, the display programme has continuously been improved and manoeuvres such as multiple crossings, mirror flights and new formations have been added.

In 2008, after 25 years in operation, the tried and tested workhorse PC-7 was overhauled entirely. The cockpit was fitted with state-of-the-art technology and the aircraft colour scheme was changed to the Swiss national colours of red and white.

Much has changed over the years but the PC-7 TEAM's basic values of fellowship, dedication and striving for perfection have remained the same.

Das PC-7 TEAM in Aktion

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Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM Air Base
CH-1530 Payerne
Switzerland

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www.pc-7-team.ch/


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