My name is Geri Krähenbühl and my call sign is K-12. I am a 50-year-old pilot from Switzerland who has been flying since 1981. I trained with the Swiss Air Force, the Swiss Civil Aviation School (SLS) and the United States Naval Test Pilot School. I have an ATPL(A) license as well as test flight and aerobatics certifications. To date, I have flown over 55 different types of aircraft and completed more than 5,200 flying hours, 3,600 of these flying jets. I have been privileged to fly a number of special aircraft in my career including Pilatus aircraft, the DH-100 Vampire, the Hawker Siddeley Hunter, Mirage III, F-5, F/A-18, F-111, F-16, Boeing 707 and the North American P51 Mustang. I am currently working for Cassidian on the Tornado and Eurofighter. I also fly displays with these aircraft.
I have been flying the Me 262 for the Messerschmitt Foundation since 2010 and am a project pilot for this machine. I grew up with vintage aircraft and so it has been a pleasure for me to return to a plane that really “speaks” to you. Flying modern aircraft is very easy today. The flight control units do most of the actual flying. What I love about old aircraft is that pilots have to think one step ahead and listen carefully to the subtle language of aerodynamics to fly them properly. In the past, pilots weren’t trained in two-seaters like they are today. So just like older pilots, I had to learn everything alone. The old timers gave me good tips to prepare for my first flight, but I had to actually fly the machine myself.
Back then, the engineers built an amazingly powerful, ground-breaking machine. But they didn’t finish developing it. And this makes it a challenging aircraft to control during displays. I love this challenge and find it very satisfying. I wouldn’t give up this kind of flying for anything. I really enjoy the ten to twenty flights I do every year.
My favorite events to date were the air shows in the Austrian town of Zeltweg, where we got to fly in breath-taking surroundings, and the German town of Hahnweide where I flew an Me 109 in formation for the first time.
Messerschmitt Museum of Flight