Swiss air force team apologises for fly-by in wrong place

BERLIN (AP) — The commander of the Swiss air force’s aerial display team has apologised after his unit performed a low-altitude pass over the wrong municipality.

Residents of Langenbruck looked up in vain last Saturday while expecting to see Switzerland’s Patrouille Suisse squadron swoop by to mark the centenary of the death of local aviation pioneer Oskar Bider.

The team flew over nearby Muemliswil instead.

Switzerland’s Defence Ministry said yesterday that the formation hadn’t practised the manoeuvre and got distracted by an unauthorised helicopter in the area. The ministry said the team leader spotted what he thought was a tent for the Langenbruck celebration that turned out to be for a yodelling festival in Mumliswil.

The ministry said the Patrouille Suisse team’s red and white F-5E Tiger II jets aren’t equipped with GPS devices.

The Swiss Air Force Patrouille Suisse aerobatic team performs in Wengen, Switzerland. – AP