Heliski Bandits Raid France

Heliskiing has been illegal in France since the first Mitterand government extended a ban on all tourist helicopter flights.  But this ban is being encroached on by those rich enough to pay the 50 Euros per minute charged for a ‘copter flight.  Heliskiing is still tolerated in Italy and many companies take advantage by dropping clients close to, and if no one is looking, just over the border with France.

Daniel Mestrallet, a ski mountainer with Volopress and other skiers on the popular website Camp2Camp report a gross violation on the popular Rochail and Villard Notre-Dame summits close to les Deux Alpes.  A red and white helicopter was seen to drop a guide, two adults and two teenagers on the summit.  Obviously hoping that an early drop would go unnoticed Daniel caught up with and questioned the skiers but they refused to speak to him.  Daniel and other witnesses then went to report what they saw to the Gendarmerie in Bourg d’Oisans.  He said that the Police refused to take a statement or even let them into the building.  Eventually an officer wrote down what they had seen but would not give a receipt for the statement.

The helicopter resembles those employed by the SAF (Secours Aérien Français) and Volodia Shahshahani, the editor of Volopress has contacted them for comments.  Mountain Wilderness lodged an official complaint with the Grenoble prosecutor on the 24th of April.

On the same day a helicopter crash in the Italian Alps in which six skiers died has raised safety concerns on that side of the border.

Posted by davidof on Saturday, 19 April, 2003 at 12:15 PM


This is not the appropriate spot to post press releases. You should go to the appropriate spot under the forums - Admin

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 08 September, 2010  at 09:40 AM
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