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Where? Axalp - Switzerland
The Swiss Air Force demonstration at the Ebenfluh Shooting Range,
mostly refered to as Axalp because of the nearby village, is a unique possibility to see jet fighters doing live gun shooting. Together with the impressive scenery the demo is an experience that one will nevere forget.
The shooting range is located at an altitude of 7365 feet (2242m) in the middle of the Swiss Alps.
As this is already alpine territory the visitor should be well prepared if he is planning a visit. Warm clothes, and even more important, good shoes are an absolute must!
The weather forecast is also complicated as it could be seen this year. Sunshine on monday, snow and heavy winds on tuesday, the practice day, sun again on wednesday afternoon... Despite the sunny weather (on wednesday only) the show had officially been cancelled on both planned show days (wednesday and thursday) due to the massive amount of snow in the spectator areas. The weather forecast in the mountains is always very complicated and under the circumstances with all the snow hosting thousands of spectators on the hill has been too risky. Finally the demonstration was held on Friday afternoon in front of a smaller crowd than the years before.
Mirage III RS on their last Axalp show runs
A lot of people have been dissapointed about this decision as the event will not take place next year due to the big show planned at Payerne in September (Air04), but even more that Axalp 2003 was the official event to say 'Good bye' to the Mirage III RS as they will be taken out of service this year.
F-18C Hornet Solo Demo
Fortunately I had the possibility to be there a bit earlier when the usual training practices took place, so you will not find any photos of the Patrouille Suisse or helicopters on this page, but a lot of Mirage and Tiger action. And some photos of the Hornet rehearsal and some photos to show you what it looks like up there on a nice sunny day!
Enjoy the photos of my last airshow report in 2003!
Axalp in the snow - there's nearly no better place to be!
Published: 16 April 2007