François-Xavier Bagnoud Association
Overview of the Foundation
François-Xavier Bagnoud

François-Xavier Bagnoud

In 1986, François-Xavier Bagnoud lost his life in a helicopter accident while flying over the Mali desert, not far from Gao. The Foundation and Association which bear his name have been created by his friends and parents, Albina du Boisrouvray and Bruno Bagnoud, in order to perpetuate his mission and preserve the radiance of his memory.

François-Xavier Bagnoud

François-Xavier was born September 11, 1961, in Geneva, Switzerland, the son of Albina du Boisrouvray and Bruno Bagnoud. His boyhood was spent in Paris, where he graduated from The American School. By the time he completed high school, he was a licensed and accomplished pilot.

In 1979 François-Xavier entered the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He earned his BSE in only three years and was a member of an honorary engineering society. He also founded the student branch of the American Helicopter Society at the University.

In 1981, during his studies at Ann Arbor, François-Xavier wrote a manual on "Helicopter Theory for Private Pilots" which has been widely used and appreciated by pilot trainees in Europe.

His passion for flying impelled François-Xavier to become at age 23 the youngest professional IRF pilot in Europe of both airplanes and helicopters. That same dedication, combined with a compassion for others in need, led him to join his father at Air Glaciers, the largest private Alpine rescue and mountain flying company, located in Sion, Switzerland. Within three years, in addition to his regular piloting responsibilities, he completed some 300 successful rescue missions in the Alps and in two Paris Dakar races.

Tragically, François-Xavier flew a fatal helicopter mission on January 14, 1986 in the desert near Gao, in Mali, West Africa. The François-Xavier Bagnoud Foundation was born out of the desire of his parents, stepfather, and close friends to continue the flow of love and concern between François-Xavier and themselves and to continue his caring for others.

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