Classic Formation Team
Pilot & Owner
Hugo is the owner of all aircraft. It was his idea to build a vintage aircraft formation and he finances the operation of these old-timers, which fly about 30 to 50 hours each per year. Thanks to his enthusiasm and dedication to the continuation of this exciting experience, he also provides the funding for both the specific formation flight training of all pilots and the individual recurrent training on Beech 18 and DC-3 as well.
He has a flight experience of 2’000 hours and currently pilots the DC-3 – with over 500 hours – the Beech 18 and Beechcraft King Air 90 as pilot-in-command. Within the Classic Formation he pilots the red Beech 18 „Classic 3“ as commander.
Hugo is the President of the board of the family-owned Swiss med-tech company. He has degrees in both mechanical engineering and in business administration.
Philipp "Phile" Müller
Phile, a former Swiss military pilot, is the expert on formation flying. He directs the training sessions and briefs his fellow pilots in detail for the particular air displays. He trained and certified all non-military Classic Formation pilots in formation flying.
During his career as military pilot he accumulated more than 10’000 flight hours by flying the following jets: de Havilland Vampire DH-100; de Havilland Vampire Trainer DH-115; de Havilland Venom DH-112; Hawker Siddeley Hunter Mk58; Northrop Tiger F-5E/F; Dassault Mirage IIIS (1’500 flight hours); Hawk Mk66; FA18 C/D (2’000 flight hours).
Furthermore, Phile was a member of the Swiss Air Force PC-7 team and fulfilled the function of „Head of Factory Flight Test RUAG Aviation“. Within the framework of the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) he is still acting as a flight examiner on PC-6, PC-7, Vampire, Hawker Hunter and Mirage IIIDS.
Phile – ranking Colonel General Staff – retired in 2016.
Within the Classic Formation Phile commands the yellow Beech 18 „Classic 4“ and issues instructions to the entire formation – if needed.
Benedikt "Beni" Kissling
After several years’ activity as a teacher, he became a flight professional 10 years ago. Since then he has totaled 3’500 flight hours.
He started on Cessna Citation CJ1+ and CJ3 and today he is first officer on a „Global Express“. In his leisure time he pilots Pilatus Porter, Beechcraft King Air 90 and Beech 18. In addition, he acts as flight instructor and… is studying law!
Within the Classic Formation Beni commands the blue Beech 18 as „Classic 2“.
Hans Jörg Herzog
Hans Jörg is the classical business aviation pilot, flight instructor and examiner. In these functions he has totaled more than 13’500 flight hours and approximately 23’000 landings. Overall he has flown 92 different types of aircraft, amongst them the complete series of Cessna Citation models. For 30 years, i.e. since the time of the DC-3 operator „Classic Air”, he has been flying DC-3’s.
He is employed by „Jet Aviation“ and acts as their company chief flight examiner and fleet chief on Embraer. Moreover, he also acts as type-rating instructor (TRI) and senior examiner for Swiss FOCA.
Within the Classic Formation Hans Jörg pilots the DC-3, both as commander or copilot, thus leading the whole formation.
Niklaus "Nik" Gammeter
After having served for some years in the Swiss Air Force as a military pilot, Nik changed over to commercial aviation. As copilot he flew the Swissair DC9, MD80 and the B747, as captain the Airbus A320 and A330 and later on the A340 for SWISS.
Besides the career mentioned above he was constantly active as a flight instructor at the Swiss Air Traffic School SLS or for the airbus fleet.
Since his retirement in 2014 from SWISS, he has continued to work in aviation: as a flight instructor for LAT (Lufthansa Training), as a freelancer for Pilatus on PC12, in the „Flugverein Reichenbach“ or as an examiner for the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA).
During his career as a military pilot Nik has flown from the first hour on F5 Tiger with a total of over 1300 hours. In addition, he was a flight instructor on Vampire, Venom and Hunter.
In his leisure time Nik is a tour guide for the Jungfrau Railway, especially for Asian and American guests visiting the „Top of Europe“, the „Jungfraujoch“.
Within the Classic Formation Nik assists Hugo on the red Beech 18 „Classic 3“.
Nicolas "Nicu" Misteli
Nicu is the youngest member of the Classic Formation. He started his aviation career at the age of 15 by flying gliders and later the Cessna 150/172. Thereafter he flew many hours on the family owned Cessna 170, Cessna A185F Skywagon or on the Stradivari of the air, a Bücker Jungmann – on which he loves flying aerobatics. He pilots the Pilatus Porter PC-6T in various missions like paradropping, air survey, photo missions, LIDAR and so on. He is specialized in HALO paraflights up to 25’000 feet. Occasionally he flies other historic aircraft like the Stinson L-5 or the Dewoitine D-26 fighter-trainer. He has 1’500 flight hours on his logbook, mostly on taildraggers.
Nicolas heads the department of electrical engineering of a public transport company in Switzerland. Within the Classic Formation, he pilots the blue Beech 18 as “Classic 2”, both as commander or copilot.
Manuel started his aviation career in 1995 in Grenchen. After he got his private pilot license, he continued his formation and got a commercial pilot license and an aerobatics rating. In 2001 be became a flight instructor and still works as a freelance instructor for the Flugschule Grenchen. In 2010 he started to fly for Skydive Grenchen as a pilot on the Pilatus PC-6 and later on on the PCA 750XL as a drop pilot for the skydivers.
Within the Classic Formation he pilots the blue Beech 18 as copilot.
Werni is the good soul of the team. Often unseen he is always working hard in the background to keep our aircraft in perfect flying conditions. Whenever there is a problem he has a solution, no matter how oily he gets.
Photographer / Web
Even without any aviation background in his entire family Ian was already fascinated by airplanes since his early years. Because of that it wasn’t a surprise he started to discover the world of aviation from different perspectives. He worked in different positions as ramp agent and for the airport fire brigade in Berne, he helped out loading the big planes in Zurich whilst studying and he is in the possession of the private pilot license.
During all his time around the airports the camera is a constant companion. With this background it’s no wonder that Ian got contracted from different companies around the world as a photographer via and is working as a freelance journalist for different medias.
Beside of his aviation life he is working as a Service and Purchase Manager for a Swiss machine building company.
He will assist the Classic Formation Crew with all relevant tasks like filming the trainings, supporting media requests and where ever they need a helping hand.
Former Team Members
In 2001 – during Swissair’s grounding – Jürg retired after 32 years of service as aircraft captain. Immediately thereafter he organized the operation of a corporate jet for Hugo. Later on he developed the project by building and leading a business aviation company. After his second retirement in 2009, he devoted himself to Hugo’s vintage aircraft as captain on the DC-3 and the Beech 18’s as well as operations manager.
During his long career, Jürg clocked more than 15'000 flight hours by flying, amongst others, the following aircraft: Douglas DC-9; McDonnell Douglas MD-80; Douglas DC-10; Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330; Cessna Citation CJ1, CJ1+, CJ3; Beechcraft King Air 90. While working for Swissair he held various management positions like fleet chief pilot on MD80, chief Instructor on Airbus A310 amongst others.
Within the Classic Formation Jürg was flying the blue Beech 18 („Classic 2“)
Fritz coordinated the maintenance. Thanks to his vast experience solving the problems in connection with various different aircraft, he was at the heart of the mechanical excellence of the fleet. He could be counted on to eliminate the question marks in every situation.
Hans "Breiti" Breitenmoser
After having served for some years in the Swiss Air Force Surveillance Squadron, Breiti changed over to commercial aviation. Today he pilots the SWISS Airbus 330/340 airliners. Due to his passion for vintage aircraft, he spends most of his leisure time flying Buecker Bü131, Junkers JU52, DC-3, Beech 18 and Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation old-timers. Over the years he has accrued more than 20'000 flight hours.
During his career Breiti has flown the following types of aircraft:
Air Force: Dornier DO-27, Pilatus P-3; PC-6; PC-7, de Havilland Vampire DH-100; de Havilland Vampire-Trainer DH-115, Hawker Siddeley Hunter Mk58; Hunter-Trainer T.Mk68, Northrop Tiger F-5E; Tiger-Trainer F-5F and Dassault Mirage III RS; DS/BS; S.
Civil: McDonnell Douglas MD-80, Airbus A310, A320 Family, A330, A340; Boeing B757, B767. Within the nostalgic „JU-Air“ group, Breiti acts as company chief examiner (CCE) on JU52, DC-3 and L-1049. For the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) he keeps active as a type-rating instructor (TRI) and senior examiner.
Within the classic formation Breiti was flying the DC-3, thus leading the whole formation („Classic 1“).
Aerial Filming / Music / Speaker / Media
Jan has filmed for over 16 years the aircraft of Hugo Mathys: Cessna Conquest 425, Diamond DA42 Twin Star, Cessna Citation Jets, King Air C90GTx, "Screaming Eagle C-47" as well as the four "shining stars" of the Classic Formation - the "Swissair DC-3" and three Beech 18s.
Besides filming the training sessions from the ground, which gives immediate feedback to the pilots, Jan supported the Classic Formation with several tasks: As a composer and producer for the airshow music, as speaker at airshows, as designer of the official logo, clothes and the web presence. In addition, Jan captured many terrestrial and aerial sequences and included the very finest in over 30 striking films. The (now) world-famous shot of the "Swissair DC-3" flying in the Swiss Alps made its way into TV with an ARTE/ZDF/SRF film documentary.
In 2020 Jan handed over his position to his successor, Ian Lienhard.
More films from Jan Locher: http://www.vimeo.com/janlocher