Mirko Flaim began helicopter training in Graz after leaving school at the age of 21. As a longtime pilot and flight instructor, the South Tyrolean has taught many trainee pilots. This experience earned him a place as a helicopter pilot for The Flying Bulls in 2012. Apart from the BO 105, Mirko flies many other types of helicopters such as the Bell Cobra, the Bell 47 and the Eurocopter EC135. Since 2018 Flaim holds a license for helicopter aerobatics. He is the only Italian with a civil helicopter aerobatics flight license and one of a handful of pilots with a US FAA helicopter aerobatics license! After the retirement of Siegfried Schwarz, he took over the role of chief pilot and flight operations manager of the helicopters at the beginning of 2023.
1. Do you remember your first flight as a pilot?
MF: My godfather’s confirmation present for me was a helicopter sightseeing flight. From that moment on things were settled ….. Some years later I was finally allowed to take the controls on a trial flight of an Enstrom 280 in Switzerland. I will remember every single moment of this flight for the rest of my life.
2. How many flying hours have you completed so far?
MF: More than 5,000 hours. (January 2023)
3. Which aircraft/helicopter would you like to fly if you were free to choose?
MF: The Harrier, … it is virtually a helicopter. Or the Eurocopter X3, unfortunately it’s only a prototype but probably the helicopter technology of the future.
4. What flight qualities of what type of helicopter wow you the most?
MF: The aerobatic qualities of the BO 105 are awesome! Fascinating what this helicopter is capable of, especially if you know how difficult it is to control a helicopter. It's very special to be given the opportunity to do something so unique.
5. Is there any single technical or design feature of your helicopter that fascinates you most?
MF: Yes, the plexiglass cockpit of the Bell 47. It offers the most striking view you could wish for on a flight. There is no other helicopter that offers such a panorama.
6. Given the age of the machines – have you never been uneasy when you climbed on board or during the flight?
MF: No; after all the Flying Bulls have the best maintained helicopters you can get!
7. What was the most turbulent flight of your life?
MF: I have experienced the odd turbulence, but nothing major. You also need to have a little bit of luck in the flying business!
8. What helicopter should be added without fail to The Flying Bulls’ collection?
MF: A Sikorsky S61 so we can also land on water. The Cessna Caravan would certainly enjoy the company.