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Swiss Air-Rescue Rega, to home page

“It’s important to me that I fly missions regularly.”

Office, simulator or cockpit – pilot and flight instructor Willi Simic does not have a fixed place of work. He always goes wherever his expertise is needed and where he can draw on his vast experience in the fields of aviation and air rescue.


Not far from the Rega Centre at Zurich Airport, Rega’s new helicopter simulator has recently been delivered. Once it has been installed, a team of specialists will put it into operation step by step and ensure that every detail, no matter how small, is simulated as realistically as possible. Right in the middle of this complex process is Willi Simic: he tests flight scenarios and checks the various functions in the replica helicopter cockpit.  

Willi Simic is also responsible for Rega’s in-house flight school. He organises upcoming training courses for the helicopter pilots and coordinates with the 12 other Rega flight instructors. But organising and coordinating basic and further training is not all he does by far. He is also in charge of the theoretical and practical training of young pilots participating in Rega’s training programme for up-and-coming helicopter pilots. Moreover, he is a flight instructor himself and sits in the cockpit as an instructor during training and check flights – both in the simulator and in real-life conditions. 

Passing on knowledge about aviation is in Willi Simic’s blood. He already worked as an instructor in the Swiss Air Force. “I was allowed to fly almost every helicopter that was in operation there,” he says, looking back. This professional background led him over 10 years ago to Rega, where he is a key contact person not only for pilots, but also for the authorities. As Nominated Person Crew Training Helicopter, he communicates directly with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and is responsible for ensuring that all Rega pilots have the necessary qualifications and valid licences at all times. 

However, in addition to all his other tasks, Willi Simic does not want to dispense with his everyday life as a helicopter pilot. “It’s important to me that I regularly fly missions for patients,” he says. That way he does not lose direct contact with the crews and can draw conclusions that are significant for his job as flight instructor. Willi Simic takes off on his missions to help people in distress from the Rega bases in St. Gallen, Untervaz – or simply from wherever he is needed.  


Day 1


In his office at the Rega Centre, Willi Simic informs himself about the upcoming training sessions for the helicopter pilots. 



A short time later, Willi Simic is sitting in the cockpit himself. In his function as a pilot, he tests all kinds of training scenarios in the new H145 simulator.


Green light: Willi Simic approves the use of the new simulator cockpit.



Willi Simic discusses his initial experiences with the new simulator with Rega pilots, Andrea Walser (left) and Walter Mayer (right).

Day 2


Start of his working day at the Rega base in St. Gallen. Today Willi Simic is on duty as a pilot on rescue missions and conducts the daily check on the helicopter.



Off on a rescue mission: Willi Simic and the crew lift off in the helicopter.

Leisure time

He balances out his demanding professional life with leisurely rides on his motorbike.


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