Great beginning - Switzerland is sending F/A-18 Hornet Solo and PC-7 Team

08.02.2019, 13:15

Already the first confirmed participants of the 19th NATO Days in Ostrava & 10th Czech Air Force Days promise another extraordinary edition. The Swiss Air Force confirmed its participation in the largest scale, offering visitors the performance of the F/A-18 Hornet supersonic jet and the 9-member PC-7 Team on turbo-prop aircraft.

While the Swiss F/A-18 is returning to Mošnov airport after three years, and the performance of this aircraft of the Finnish Air Force was one of the highlights of last year's program, the PC-7 team will be premiered here and will be performing in the Czech Republic for the first time since 1995.

zdroj: Swiss Department of Defencezdroj: Swiss Department of Defence

"Switzerland is not a traditional participant of the NATO Days in Ostrava, se we are very pleased and surprised by this news," says Zbyněk Pavlačík, chairman of the Jagello 2000. "This year's event will be the only one outside Switzerland that will see both the Swiss Hornet and PC-7 Team, which we perceive as a significant recognition from the Swiss Air Force. It is not often that a country sends both an acrobatic group and an airplane for a solo performance, although we witnessed it last year done by Poland, its Orlik Team and F-16 aircraft."

The PC-7 team flying on airplanes made by the Swiss company Pilatus exhibits attractive dynamic and accurate manoeuvers when flying in formation, but its members are members of the Swiss Air Force who are normally flying F/A-18 Hornets and who also fulfil the standard obligations of guarding the national airspace and public performances are not their main job. "For these reasons, the PC-7 Team is seen relatively sparsely abroad, only three times this year," adds Pavlacik. "With nine members, this is the largest group performing at NATO Days, the synchronized flight of this number of turboprop planes promises a truly extraordinary experience."

The team was officially founded in 1989 and celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. It has been always using the PC-7s, although they underwent a complete upgrade in 2008.

zdroj: Swiss Department of Defencezdroj: Swiss Department of Defenceautor: Emil Kucharski

Also Capt. Nicolas "Vincent" Rossier, who is the the F/A-18 Hornet Display pilot for the third year, began flying on PC-7 machines, but he has already reached over 1000 hours with Hornet and is also acting as a flight instructor in the Air Force. When the Swiss F/A-18 performed at NATO Days for the first time in 2016, it was to be accompanied by the Swiss acrobatic team, however that was the Patrouille Suisse with the F-5 aircraft. The team unfortunately had to cancel its participation.

In addition to the Hornet, only the Swiss Super Puma Display of the Swiss teams participated at NATO Days in 2012.

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