François-Xavier, son of Albina du Boisrouvray and Bruno Bagnoud, was born in Geneva on 11 September 1961. He grew up in Paris, where he obtained his baccalaureate and his diploma from the American School. At the end of his secondary schooling, he is already a licensed and experienced pilot.
In 1979, he entered the School of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, where he obtained his engineering degree in just three years. Honorary member of an engineering society, he is also the founder of the student chapter of the American Helicopter Society at his university. In 1981, during his studies in Ann Arbor, François-Xavier wrote a textbook entitled “Helicopter Theory for Private Pilots”, which became a reference book that was very much appreciated by student pilots.
His passion for flying is such that François-Xavier becomes, at twenty-three years old, the youngest IFR professional airplane and helicopter pilot in Europe. This passion, combined with extreme generosity, led him to join his father in Air-Glaciers, a private company specialized in mountain missions, located in Sion (Switzerland). In three years, in addition to his regular flights, he accomplished more than 300 rescue missions in the Alps as well as in the desert.
On January 14, 1986, François-Xavier tragically lost his life during a heliborne mission in the Malian desert.
In 1989, his parents, family and friends founded the François-Xavier Bagnoud Foundation and Association in order to pursue, in the field of development, the rescue missions he led and thus perpetuate the values of generosity and compassion that guided his life.