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Atterrissage d'un parachute à Môtiers

Skydiving in Val-de-Travers

It's happening at the Môtiers aerodrome, this Sunday July 7, 2019. Vincent Huguenin des Verrières is celebrating his 30th birthday in style and inviting his friends to an exclusive event including of course tandem jumps. As a result, the related Swissboogie infrastructure will take “the legendary absinthe route”.

Horror and curse, at the last moment a pitfall becomes embedded in the carefully prepared event. A dozen employees of Skyguide, therefore of the aviation safety organization of Swiss airspace, have called in sick. This, probably in retaliation after a judgment by the Federal Court condemning one of their number who allegedly committed serious misconduct in the exercise of his function. In fact, in airspace above 3000 m, the concept of air navigation safety is no longer assured. Entry into this space is therefore no longer authorized. Skyguide spokesperson Vladi Barrosa told Keystone-ATS “When an air traffic controller doesn't feel well, he doesn't work! »… In the last 50 years we have never experienced such retaliatory action. Today's paratroopers are punished for a reason they have absolutely nothing to shake off. The conflict that has developed between various authorities unfairly affects the events of this day.

Group ready to parachute

Vincent Huguenin and his friends, "solid members of the Jura Arc" do not let themselves be discouraged and decide to maintain their party organized at all costs with all that this entails in work, for several months. So no question of dismissal. They will jump from 3000 m instead of 4000 m. And ultimately everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. The pilot Paul Misteli “Polo”, SWISBOOGIE specialist in extreme drops at 7600 m, will not encroach on the airspace controlled by Skyguide Switzerland which is partially on strike.

Takeoff of the plane in Môtiers

Thus, in magnificent weather, the plane took off from its operational base in Kappelen for Môtiers with the instruction and administration staff on board, while all the equipment was transported by road. Airfield manager Gilles Aeschimann has meanwhile organized the parking spaces. The commissioned catering specialist puts his tables, his grill, his sausages, his pies and his special bottles of course, on display.

Guests and spectators will certainly be thirsty.

Alpha Channel on the plane

The reporting staff led by Sarah Adatte from the CANAL ALPHA channel is on site and making the necessary arrangements. The ground interviews are already beginning.

And here is the plane at the end of the runway, the Polo pilot switching on all the power for the takeoff of the first flight with 8 people in tandems on board and the cameraman for the TV.

Fly over and admire

The Jura Arc for the inhabitants is essential in every sense. From above you can only see it entirely from a plane, the mountains not being sufficiently visible, even from the highest peak. So now is the time to rinse both eyes.

The jump itself

The big moment is coming. For the Jura residents, it’s their home. A monitor opens the door, 30 seconds later the plane is vertically above the airfield. Just 3 seconds to see it while sitting on the edge.

Here we go … ! After the exhilaration at the start transforming into delirium followed by acceleration into free fall, an experience never experienced in their lives, the jumpers let themselves be overcome by emotion.

Tandem parachute in the air

The parachute opens and there is total calm. The only noise is the passenger who after a few seconds finds words like “incredible”, “extraordinary” or even “my happiest day” and many others. Underfoot, it is indeed the airfield terrain. We land there gently with the help of our instructor.

Pleasure on the lips

“Sublime, I’ll do it again right away!” » is the expression of the jumpers arriving on the cow floor.

And the following flights follow one another. As soon as the last one is down, it's the aperitif which will further help loosen the tongues. One thing is certain, the team will put the pressure back on. A new date is being defined... to increase the 3000 to 4000 m. In the same place, I promise, I swear.

Môtiers is not new for Swissboogie.

Initiation jump in Môtiers

In the 70s and 80s, that is to say +/- 40 years ago, we organized initiation jumps on average twice a month. At the time this was done with a round canopy with automatic opening immediately after departure, in the pure style of the Normandy landings. The parachutist is delivered after leaving the plane single-handedly. This jump is a challenge for everyone. Hundreds of girls and boys from the Jura Arc did it.

Paratroopers waiting

Digging through the archives of the Swissboogie school, we found a photograph from the time including a team working at the Philip Morris Factories, at the time the Réunies Tobacco Factory, who had gathered with other candidates for the challenge planned for Federal Fast Monday, September 20, 1982.

In the report of the jumps in Môtiers, Canal Alpha published the photo of a group waiting to board, sitting in exactly the same place as the tandem jumpers of July 7, 2019 with a remark: the first who recognizes themselves on the archive image and announces himself at the office Swissboogie wins a voucher for a flight with the Pilatus.

Pascal Borel

Very quickly the call came, and it was Pascal Borel, now retired, who at the time of the jump was 25 years old, who obtained the voucher for the flight. He carried it out aboard the Pilatus in flight for a drop on the Swissboogie homebase in Bienne-Kappelen on Saturday September 7, 2019.

Initiation jump certificate 1982

SWISSBOOGIE puts jumps back on the program in Môtiers

The 2020 calendar will include fixed dates to offer the possibility of tandem jumps to people wishing to get laid in the Val de Travers. In addition to this, if a compact group of at least 12 people register for the same day, the possibility exists to organize an exclusive event. All information can be obtained by email , by telephone 032 485 11 11. The 2020 program can be found on the internet from the start of 2020.

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