The ten-part TV series portrays people full of passion around the Valais air rescue company.
Air Zermatt has set new standards in a history stretching back over 50 years. The experience gained by the Valais airline every day in the Alps makes Air Zermatt a competent partner worldwide.
The helicopters with the red and white stars bring life to the most remote places with their transport flights, while the tourist flights allow passengers to experience the breathtaking beauty of our precious nature from a bird's eye view. With over 50,000 rescue missions under its belt, Air Zermatt has developed methods that are now in use worldwide.
People who are full of passion and dedication for their work at Air Zermatt give the Valais helicopter company a face and a soul. The Alpha Zulu On Air TV series presents ten people involved with the Valais air rescue service.
Gerold Biner | CEO and Pilot
A distress call from the highest peaks of the Alps! When Gerold Biner, as long-time pilot and CEO of Air Zermatt, takes off in the helicopter under the most adverse weather conditions, he puts his life on the line time and again to save alpinists in distress. His flights into situations involving life and death have sometimes got under his skin, and there have also been times when he found himself in danger as well. But flying will always be his passion.
Beat Perren | Founder of Air Zermatt
Beat Perren is the founder of Air Zermatt. More than 50 years ago, he convinced the people of Zermatt that it would be important and right to have a helicopter company in the exclusive spa town. Air Zermatt flew almost 100 rescue missions in its first year alone. “What can we do even better next time?” Perren asked after every mission, developing and enhancing Air Zermatt with a strong pioneering spirit. Today, the Valais air rescuers are known as pioneers who have set standards worldwide.
Daniel Frei | Rescued Patient
Daniel Frei from Hombrechtikon will never forget this sunny day in March. On a snowshoe hike in Goms, his heart starts racing so fast that his wife has to raise the alarm. The Air Zermatt rescue crew evacuates Daniel Frei from the forest using the winch, the emergency doctor on board administers first aid at an intermediate landing site in Oberwald and they quickly fly on to the hospital in Visp. Frei knew he was in good hands with the rescuers from Air Zermatt.
Philipp Grand | SAR Flight Paramedic
For Philipp Grand, rescuing others is his life. In his work as a SAR flight paramedic, the Leuk local has saved many lives in his 25 years with Air Zermatt. But rescue work is also something that occupies Grand in his free time. As well as being his faithful companion, his dog “Gonzo von Arsidi” is also a trained rescue dog. If people are reported missing, Grand and Gonzo go out in search of them.
Peter Rovina and his team work to ensure the safety of our villages, as forests perform key protective functions for the region as a whole. “Without the helicopters at Air Zermatt, it would be almost impossible for us to maintain the protection forest in such a sustainable way,” says the Forest Manager for the forestry company Forstbetrieb Stalden und Umgebung. A report on logging in the forests of Valais.
Nicolas Keller | Aircraft Technician
Nicolas Keller has been part of the Air Zermatt family as an aircraft technician for five years. He has a huge responsibility – one mistake in the daily inspection of the helicopters can have serious consequences during an operation. But Keller loves a challenge. Also when it comes to his free time, a mistake can have big consequences for him. Keller’s hobby is motorbike racing, and he enjoys testing the limits of a machine from time to time.
Daniel Aufdenblatten | Pilot
As a child, whenever Daniel Aufdenblatten heard a helicopter he pedalled behind it on his bike as fast as he could. “For me it was always clear that I wanted to be a pilot,” he recalls. Aufdenblatten is in Nepal to train local pilots when an emergency occurs. A mountaineer is in distress. Together with rescue specialist Richi Lehner, he rescues the climber at almost 7,000m. No other pilot has ever flown a rescue mission at this altitude before. His courage is honoured with the Heroism Award, the highest recognition in aviation.
Cornelia Wüthrich and Denise Bader
from Bietschhorn Hut
With its regular transport flights, Air Zermatt brings life to numerous mountain huts. Like the Bietschhorn Hut, run by Cornelia Wüthrich and Denise Bader. What’s it like to spend the summer at such an altitude? Would daily life at this altitude even be possible these days without helicopters? No, the two women agree, it wouldn’t.
Stefan Imboden | Chief Task Specialist
As Chief Task Specialist, Stefan Imboden is responsible for directing the transport flights: he briefs the team on the ground about the upcoming transport, gives the pilot accurate instructions during the approach and directs the loading process. “It’s important to me that all of us can get home safe to our families at the end of the day,” says the Täsch local following a transport flight. Imboden is passionate about flying – both during and outside of work. An evening paragliding flight is perfect for clearing his head to make space for other thoughts.
Broadcasting Monday, September 19, 2022 from 6.15 p.m. on Kanal9.
Helmut Lerjen | Rettungsspezialist
As a rescue specialist and mountain guide, Helmut Lerjen has spent the last 25 years being called out on rescue missions in dangerous situations. He has a wealth of experience. His missions are often a matter of life and death, and not all of them have a happy end. And yet: “I’ve experienced so many miracles on my missions,” says Lerjen, looking back. “If people are in distress, doing nothing is not an option for me!”