Burduš
Mojca Mežek
18. 09. 2020

A legendary savior of human lives

Arrival of the legendary "Burduš" helicopter under the ceiling of the Slovenian Mountain Museum.

Summer and autumn are the seasons when the mountains invite us the most. In the summer, many go there to escape the heat that catches the streets of city centers. Autumn invites the mountain world with a wonderful spectrum of colors, when the larch trees dress in gold and with their new dress overshadow the mighty mountains that rise towards the sky in their background.

Just as mountains can be beautiful and friendly, they often become unfriendly, sinister with rapidly changing weather. Unfortunately, too many mountaineers forget about this darker side of the mountains and therefore the number of mountain accidents in Slovenia is growing every year.

When the mountaineers find themselves in a quagmire, they call for the help of mountain rescuers, who rush sacrificially to help the victims and get them back to the valley safely.

Did you know that the Mountain Rescue Service of Slovenia did not get its first helicopter until 1967? Until then, rescuers walked to the victims for several hours, regardless of the weather conditions.

Augusta Bell 47J-2A with registration number YU_HAK provided additional assistance and support in regular police tasks upon arrival for the then Milica air unit. Despite its limitations, as it had a weak engine and low final speed and frequent problems with batteries, it proved to be a very welcome acquisition in the Slovenian mountain rescue world.

With Burduš, as the pilots and rescuers called him, the Mountain Rescue Service carried out numerous exercises and rescue operations. One of the better known is the rescue in the area below Mojstrovka, from which an avalanche broke in 1968 and buried a group of touring skiers.

The Augusta-Bell 47J- “A” Ranger “helicopter was withdrawn from regular use in 1984, when this model was replaced by an even better and more powerful and, above all, more reliable Augusta Bell model.

The arrival of Burduš represents an important turning point in Slovenian mountain rescue and has greatly contributed to the development of helicopter rescue in our country.

Since the Slovenian Mountain Museum is a place where we can get acquainted with the interesting and varied history of mountaineering and alpinism on Slovenian soil, it is right that Burduš, the first mountain rescue helicopter in the Slovenian mountains, got its second mission. Burduš, which was owned by the Slovenian Police, “flew” under the ceiling of the Slovenian Mountaineering Museum in May 2017, thus fulfilling the long-hidden wish of the creators, curators and other employees of the Slovenian Mountaineering Museum that the legendary helicopter become part of the Slovenian Museum’s permanent collection.

Interesting facts about the Augusta Bell helicopter – 47J-2A:

the first helicopter model to obtain all the necessary certificates for civilian use
it was used by most police and military units around the world
it was made in Italy, America, Great Britain, and Japan
the most recognizable model because of the “lead role” in the M.A.S.H.
worldwide, despite its venerable age, there are still 1,000 copies of this model in use
with some skills and technical interventions, the one that now rests under the ceiling of the Slovenian Mountain Museum could also fly to the rescue operation.
Capacities: Maximum (and working) speed 169km / h (146 km / h), maximum flight altitude: 3400m above sea level (without cargo)

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