The Air Zermatt podcast that takes as long as a round trip around the Matterhorn.
Air Zermatt is legendary and world-famous. But what is it that makes the Valais helicopter company the talk of the town? People like you and me become heroes, rise above themselves and thus save the lives of others. In this podcast, we tell their exciting, touching and sometimes funny stories.
The podcast programmes are produced in German or dialect in order to reproduce the stories as authentically as possible.
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Gerold Biner looks back on a four-decade career with Air Zermatt. Of these, he was a pilot for 34 years and CEO of the company for a further 13 years. As of next weekend, Biner will no longer be allowed to conduct commercial passenger flights by helicopter for reasons of age. This is undoubtedly a significant turning point in his life as a helicopter pilot. In a moving interview, we take a look back at Gerold Biner's extraordinary career.
Günther Willisch has proudly worn the Air Zermatt uniform for almost 3 decades. In his current role as Head of Emergency Services, he has witnessed first-hand the developments in medical care. The challenges he faces have grown steadily. But despite the increasing complexity of his tasks, Willisch himself remains actively involved in rescue operations. He emphasises: "Anyone who is not deeply moved by tragic rescues may have missed his true calling in the rescue world.
In August 2023, Shinji Tamura from Zermatt in Pakistan wants to climb a mountain that has never been conquered before. But tragedy strikes. The experienced climber Tamura suffers a fatal accident. The rescuers in Pakistan give up and stop looking for Tamura's body. Air Zermatt wants to help and sends rescue specialist Bruno Jelk to Pakistan together with two Italian colleagues. However, the mission fails.
Anjan Truffer is head of the rescue station in Zermatt. His team, consisting of 14 mountain rescuers, goes into action when mountain rescues become a complicated matter. In this episode of the Alpha Zulu Podcast, Anjan Truffer expresses his willingness to support people in need. Nevertheless, he expresses clear criticism of mountaineers who climb mountains despite insistent warnings from experienced mountain guides. This is because it is not uncommon for rescue specialists to have to rescue precisely these climbers from emergencies.
Sandra Wenger had already made a firm decision in her youth: Her vocation would one day be to work as a paramedic in a helicopter. This fervent dream accompanied her through the years and never faded. But when Sandra Wenger became a mother, she had to temporarily distance herself from this goal. Is it possible to be a mother and pursue a life in rescue at the same time? In this edition of the Alpha Zulu Podcast, we go in search of an answer.
Since 2022, Air Zermatt has had an innovative flight simulator with virtual reality at its heliport in Zermatt. This simulator offers a realistic simulation of the Ecureuil H125 helicopter, which is used by the Valais-based helicopter company for a variety of tasks, such as transport flights, rescue missions and tourist excursions. With the help of the state-of-the-art full-motion flight simulator, Air Zermatt pilots train their flying manoeuvres. At the same time, this professional flight simulator is also available to amateurs who are interested in flying.
When rescuers rush to people in distress, danger always accompanies them. Every mission involves a certain residual risk. Michael Schwarzl had to experience this reality first-hand. On 12 July 2023, he fell a full 20 metres into a crevasse during a rescue mission. Despite numerous injuries, he survived. But how much risk are rescuers willing to take to help others in need? The Alpha Zulu Podcast in search of answers.