François-Xavier Bagnoud


FXB carries the initials of François-Xavier Bagnoud, a helicopter pilot who specialized in rescue operations dedicated his life to helping others. Born in 1961, he was the son of Albina du Boisrouvray and Bruno Bagnoud. His childhood was spent in Paris, where he graduated from The American School.

By the end of his secondary studies, François-Xavier was already a licensed and experienced pilot. An aeronautics enthusiast, he entered the Department of Aerospace Studies of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1979. After exceling in his studies, he obtained his engineering degree and published a reference manual: “Theory of the Helicopter for Private Pilots.”

His passion for flying was so strong that at the age of 23, he became the youngest professional Instrument Flight Related airplane and helicopter pilot in Europe. This passion, combined with an extreme generosity, led him to join his father’s company Air Glaciers in Sion, Switzerland. Within three years, he carried out about 300 rescue flights in the Alps, as well as the deserts of Africa.

He lost his life in 1986 at the age of 24 during a helicopter mission in Mali. In 1989, his mother, family and friends founded the Association François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB International) and the FXB Foundation to pursue, in the field of development, the rescue missions that he led and to perpetuate the values of generosity and compassion that guided the life of François-Xavier.