Text & Pictures: Philip Verhasselt - Translation: Marc Arys  © sbap 2015

Axalp 2015

 

October in Switzerland is synonymous with mountains and exercises, better known as Axalp.

Payerne was the main event in 2014 with Axalp being postponed to 2015. So it was time to pack, take the picture gear and climb all the way up to the shooting range at Ebenfluh to immortalize the F-5, F/A-18 and other helicopters of the Aviation Militaire Suisse (Swiss Military Aviaition).

On October 06 we checked in at the hotel and the rest of the day was used for a little reconaissance of the Meiringen airbase and its surroundings in a beautiful mountainous setting.

But already unpredictable mother nature was playing up. Next morning we stayed at Meiringen with exercises being held but not at the shooting range of Ebenfluh. We then paid a visit to Emmen airbase, but the weather here was as bad as at Meiringen and not much of flying activities were going on.

For thursday the organizers of the exercise took the decision to awaiten the meteorological conditions as to decide by 08.00hrs if the program could go on. As we had to climb all the way up to Ebenfluh, we could not await this decision and started off at 04.00hrs. Sadly the exercise was called of around 13.30hrs and so it was useless to carry on.

We stayed below the cloud base and had the opportunity to see and picture some F/A-18 in action, not really in detail or close by, but in their natural mountainous habitat. A little different from our “flat” landscape at home. In short a non-event at exercise level but nevertheless with some beautiful images.

Friday, our day to return back home… No more clouds and a splendid sunshine… really maddening !

Before leaving Switzerland we halted at the Schilthorn allowing us to see helicopters in action in a magical setting and to run across some thrill seeking paragliders.

You will never regret your travel to Axalp as there is always something going on, perhaps just to admire the greatness of the sceneries only Switzerland can offer.

 

And for now, the first week of October 2016 is already booked in our agenda… Wait and see.

   
 New gate guardian at Meiringen  
   The wolf out of the wood
   
   
   Towed in the caves
   
   
 
 Realy low cloud base
 Some activities
 
 
 
 
 
 Super Puma above the Brienserzee
 Typically Swiss!
 
 
 A view from the mountain of Meiringen Air Base
 
 
 Poor activities at Emmen Air Base also
  The "Patrouille Suisse" in stand by...
 
 Eurocopter As 350 B3e Ecureuil from Air Glacier
  Kamov KA-32 A12 from Heliswiss
 Eurocopter As 350 B3e Ecureuil from Swissheli Eurocopter As 350 B3e Ecureuil also from Swissheli
  Paragliders in action
Magical Swiss landscape!

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