Siegfried Schwarz

Flight Operations Manager & Chief Pilot Helicopters

He was the first civilian helicopter student in Austria – before that, the licence could only be obtained through the Austrian Army. Schwarz soon ambitiously started his professional career as a helicopter pilot in aerial photography. In 1987, he became a pilot at Heli-Air in the Tyrol - his main tasks were freight and rescue flights. He ultimately became the training manager and chief pilot of Heli Air and the Christophorus flight rescue association. Since 2000, Schwarz has been a pilot at the Flying Bulls, starting as a freelancer; he is now the Chief Pilot & Flight Operations Manager Helicopter for the Flying Bulls. He is the only Austrian with a civilian licence for helicopter aerobatics and one of two pilots with a US FAA helicopter aerobatic licence! He has become particularly fond of the Flying Bulls' Cobra– for Siegfried Schwarz, it is the "muscle car of the air". The highlights: 2 gold medals with the Flying Bulls' BO105 at the Helicopter Freestyle Championships in Russia 2012 and Poland 2015.

1. Do you remember your first flight as a pilot?

SSCH: Ah yes, it was a Cessna 150, in 1977.

2. Longbow or Bell 47?

SSCH: Longbow – I’d be one of the few civilians who’d have flown this combat helicopter.

3. Which helicopter would you prefer to fly if you could have any choice, and why?

SSCH: The Eurocopter Tiger. That would be as difficult as flying the Longbow.

4. Are there any technical or design details of a helicopter that fascinate you in particular?

SSCH: Yes, the BO105 rotor system. It’s made from a single piece of titanium.

5. How many flying hours have you completed so far?

SSCH: About 11,000.

6. What are the flight qualities that inspire you the most in a helicopter ? And is there anything you’d criticise?

SSCH: The BO105, with its incredible aerobatics. The Bell Cobra’s power train makes it a class of its own, and the Bell 47’s glass cockpit reveals the landscape below like no other. Negative aspects? There aren’t any to speak of.

7. Have you ever worried about the age of a helicopter once you’re on board?

SSCH: The age has never concerned me. After all, maintenance is crucial and that’s in safe hands with the Flying Bulls. If I don’t know the plane, it’s a different story, I’d always check it thoroughly.

8. What was the most turbulent flight you ever witnessed?

SSCH: I could name quite a few. Especially on rescue missions, when we had to get mountain climbers out of a crevasse. That was quite hairy.

9. Is there any other aircraft that ought to be added to the Flying Bulls collection?

SSCH: A Sikorsky S-58T. There’s no better helicopter for sightseeing flights with passengers.

Impressions

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