Today, we went to Dübendorf to visit Skyguide, a traffic control and formation center. We began the visit by a presentation of the role and the activities of Skyguide. Then we divided our group into smaller groups, to visit important places. The first one was a simulator to train students to become air traffic controllers. This simulator allowed to create different scenarios: some simple one with only a few planes landing and more difficult one with engine fire or snow on the runway. Then we had the chance to enter the approach control room: the controllers where delivering clearances to aircrafts in their airspace to avoid collisions in flight. Finally, we played a role game, where we had to guide airplanes to the runway. It was surprisingly difficult to keep efficiency high. After eating at Skyguide, we went to Zurich airport to watch landing aircrafts from over the world, observing what type they were and feeling their powerful engines. In the afternoon, we came back to Dübendorf to visit the Flieger-Flab museum. There were a lot of airplanes from the beginning of aviation to jet airplanes. That was amazing to discover these airplanes, and also other Swiss army material such as radar, communications and weapon systems. After spending time there, we went and visited Rega, the Swiss search and rescue. We could see the helicopter H145 they fly and one crew member have presented us the different missions they realize and the equipment they have. Today was the last entire day in Switzerland, we are leaving tomorrow with Super Puma. All the Cadets would like to thank all the people who organized this exchange, especially Willi and Suzanne who planned all the activities and Rafael and Adrian our guides. This adventure will stay in our mind for a long time.
Elise (French Cadet)
We started the day of with breakfast at the Tennisschugele, we then proceeded to take an hour drive to the Pilatus factory. Yet again, the views on the way to Pilatus were fantastic. Once we arrived at the Pilatus factory, we met up with our tour guide Sam. He took us to a very nice media room in the factory where he showed us some videos about the different types of Pilatus aircraft and the challenges, they face in day to day life. For example, the The Royal Flying Doctor Sevice which is located in Australia, they use Pilatus airplanes daily to save people’s lives in remote locations. The Pilatus PC-12 and PC-24 are great aircraft for these situations because they are able to land on grass and gravel which not a lot of aircraft of this size are allowed to do. After the nice introduction we walked towards the apron where some PC-12’s where lined up. We split the into two groups and got to fly above the alps! After a very impressive approach by our (test) pilot we made our way to the assembly lines and paint shops of the factory. It was very amazing to see all the aircraft lined up and being assembled. Furthermore, we went for lunch at the factory’s cafeteria. We gave out certificates and said our goodbyes. We then took the car to the town of Lucerne where we had some free time to walk around. Some of us cadets rented some pedal boats and enjoyed the lake. We visited sites like the Chapel Bridge and sat down at a terrace. We slowly made our way back to Grenchen and ate a nice dinner at the Tennisschugele. All in all, it was a great day with more awesome experiences the other cadets and I will never forget.
Josca (Dutch Cadet)