Medicopter 117 - Every life counts

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Television series
Original title Medicopter 117 - Every life counts
Medicopter 117 - Every life counts Logo.jpg
Country of production Austria
original language German
Year (s) 1997-2007
length 45 minutes
Episodes 82 in 7 seasons ( list )
genre Action series , drama
production MR film
music Sylvester Levay , Lothar Scherpe , Carsten Rocker
First broadcast January 12, 1998 on RTL

Medicopter 117 - Every Life Counts is a television series produced by MR Film between 1997 and 2007 on behalf of RTL and ORF about the risky missions of two rescue helicopter teams.

About the series

The film was shot at the heliport in St. Johann im Pongau in Austria. There are also numerous other locations in the Pongau , Pinzgau and Lungau regions as well as in other parts of Austria and southern Bavaria.

Series content


Exciting rescue operations, dramatic fates and stories about the main and supporting actors are the story of the series. The rescuers fly in two shifts, each with a pilot, a paramedic and an emergency doctor. So the helicopter is ready for action at any time of the day.

At the beginning of the series, emergency medical care or rescuing the injured, even if mostly staged in a dramatic way, was still clearly in the foreground. Although crimes such as kidnappings etc. played a role here too, they were more the framework in which the actual work of the emergency doctors was embedded.

In later seasons, however, more and more episodes with bomb threats, ransom demands, kidnappings of the crew, explosions etc. were filmed, which were similar to action series such as Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahnpolizei . The actual character of the series, the preclinical emergency medicine, often faded into the background.


The first two teams consisted of pilot Thomas Wächter, emergency doctor Dr. Michael Lüdwitz and paramedic Peter Berger as well as the pilot Biggi Schwerin, emergency doctor Dr. Gabriele "Gabi" Kollmann and paramedic Ralf Staller. The head of the base (base manager) was Mr Ebelsieder, a law-conscious but also very loyal superior in an emergency. Ralf's dog Gonzo, a trained avalanche search dog, accompanied the crews on their missions.

After a serious helicopter crash of the team led by Dr. Kollmann, where Biggi almost died, give Gabriele and Ralf their initially secret love affair publicly. Shortly before the later planned wedding, Gabriele lost her life in an outreach. Ralf arrives with the new emergency doctor Dr. Karin Thaler very clear; but moves to the USA.

The base manager Frank Ebelsieder leaves the base due to an attractive job offer at the head office. Lüdwitz the base management.

The new paramedic Enrico Contini falls in love with the pilot Biggi Schwerin, and he gets along very well with Dr. Lüdwitz, who observed during an operation how the Russian mafia committed a murder. After a dangerous escape, however, he must be included in the witness protection program; Karin, who is a couple with Michael, and his best friend, Thomas Wächter, are particularly hard hit.

The new emergency doctor Dr. Mark Harland is put to the test on his first assignment. The two crews work wonderfully together. Meanwhile, Peter gets to know Enrico's sister Stella and meets with her. After Stella is pregnant by Peter, they get married. In a breathtaking mission, pilot Thomas Wächter saves Stella and Peter's unborn son. The new controller Gunnar E. Höppler Junior appears, who takes on the task of managing the base.

In episode 48 Escape Without Return , the Russian Mafia succeeds in getting Dr. Michael Lüdwitz to lure back to Germany. However, this realizes that something is wrong and causes an accident. He was seriously injured during the escape and met his best friend Thomas on the base at night. The hiding place is discovered by the Mafia, however, and Lüdwitz is taken to a mine where he is to be concreted in. Thomas frees Michael and lures the new head of the Mafia into a trap: He falls into the pit and sinks into the concrete. When you escape, the tunnel begins to explode. Thomas helps Michael out of the trap, unfortunately falls and has to watch as the tunnel explodes around him. The crew tried to save Thomas from another entrance, but were unfortunately only able to recover his helmet. The loss hits Dr. Thaler very hard. Lüdwitz is then declared dead, because this way he ensures that no one is looking for him anymore. The new pilot is Jens Köster.

In the episode " Lost" (episode 54), pilot Biggi Schwerin has a serious fall during a mission in the mountains. With a masterly achievement, Enrico succeeds in moving the helicopter out of the radio shadow. In the episode Im Labyrinth it turns out that Biggi will never be able to fly again. She goes to the USA to train pilots on a simulator. Gina Aigner (Julia Cencig), who has been working as a trainee on the base since the episode Der Zug, will succeed her as the pilot of the B-Crew .

The next change in the crew is in the episode Buried (episode 63). Biggi Schwerin comes back from the USA and wants to spend a weekend in the mountains with Enrico. In doing so, however, the two witnesses a girl injuring herself. The two rescue the child and want to bring it to safety with a found camper. On the way to the hospital, however, an accident happens and the motor home is buried in a landslide. Literally at the last second, the A-Crew managed to rescue the buried victims. Biggi and Enrico decide to move to Italy together and take over the hotel from Enrico's parents.

In the episode The Fireworks (episode 64), the crew is now without paramedics from the B-crew. Pilot Jens Köster remembers a long time ago medical training and flies a mission as a replacement. The mission takes the crew to a rock festival, where they meet the roady Florian Lenz (Jo Weil). Only a little later the crew - now finally without paramedics - is called back to the rock festival. Now it turns out that Florian Lenz is a trained paramedic, on top of a BK 117. At the end of the episode, he starts his new job at Medicopter 117 as a paramedic.


main actor

actor Role name role Episodes Seasons Comments / reason to withdraw
Manfred Stücklschwaiger Thomas Wächter † pilot 1-50 1-5 Burned in a mine
Sabine Petzl Biggi Schwerin pilot 1-57, 64 1-6 Is no longer fit to fly after an accident and is therefore no longer allowed to work as a pilot, moves to Italy with Enrico
Hans Heller Jens Köster pilot 51-82 5-7
Julia Cencig Gina Aigner pilot 49-82 5-7
Rainer Grenkowitz Dr. Michael Lüdwitz Emergency doctor 1-39, 50 1-5 Fled from the Russian mafia into the witness protection program / officially declared dead.
Anja Freese Dr. Gabriele Kollmann † Emergency doctor 1-24 1-3 Died of severe burns and toxic pulmonary edema after an explosion on a disused factory site
Roswitha Meyer Dr. Karin Thaler Emergency doctor 26-82 3-7
Urs Remond Dr. Mark Harland Emergency doctor 41-82 4-7
Serge Falck Peter Berger paramedic 1-82 1-7
Wolfgang Krewe Ralf Staller paramedic 1-35 1-3 Moves to the USA
Tom Mikulla Enrico Contini paramedic 36-64 4-6 Biggi moves to Italy to take over his parents' hotel with her
Jo Weil Florian Lenz paramedic 65-82 6-7
Hanno Pöschl Max mechanic 1-82 1-7
Axel Pape Frank Ebelsieder Base manager 1–21, 25,


1-3 Former base manager / Leaving base
Gilbert von Sohlern Gunnar Eros Höppler Jr. Base manager 49-82 5-7 Base manager
Barbara Demmer Heidi Oberhuber secretary 1-9 1 Doesn't appear after the first season for no reason

supporting cast

actor Role name role Episodes Season (s) Comment / reason for withdrawal
Gesche Tebbenhoff Vera Wächter † Ex-wife of Thomas 1, 3, 8, 10-11, 14 1-2 Dies of severe internal injuries after a car accident
Nicola Etzelstorfer Lisa Wächter Daughter of Thomas 1, 10-11, 13-14, 17, 21-22, 30, 34, 37-38, 40-41, 43, 48-50 1-5 moves to live with her uncle after her father dies
Laura Mazzuchelli Laura Guardian Daughter of Thomas 1, 10-11, 13-14, 17, 21-22, 30, 34, 37-38, 40-41, 43, 48-50 1-5 moves to live with her uncle after her father dies
Christine Mayn Margarethe Lüdwitz Ex-wife of Michael 1, 6-11 1-2
Julius Jellinek Dirk Lüdwitz Son of Michael 1, 6-11, 13-14, 17, 21 1-2 fled with his father into the witness protection program in the USA
Helma Gautier Angela Kollmann Mother of Gabriele 1, 2, 20 1-2
Michou Pascale Anderson Barbara Ex-fiancee of Peter 1, 5-7, 9-11 1-2 Separation from Peter
Aladdin Gonzo Ralf's avalanche search dog goes to the USA with Ralf
Chrissy Schulz Victoria Fisher Policewoman, Peter's affair 5-7 1 Separation from Peter after a fake pregnancy
Alexander Strobele René Meier Representation of Biggi 10-11 2 Biggi decided to fly again, which is why he was no longer needed
Carmen-Maja Antoni Veronika Edberg Housekeeper in Thomas and Michael's flat share 14, 17, 22 2-3 was no longer necessary after a while
Saskia Valencia Katja Heinemann Representing Peter 15-17 2 Substitute period expired
Nicolas King Axel Wertheim Lawyer and ex-boyfriend of Biggi 20-25 2-3 Separation from Biggi
Gregor Seberg Dr. Martin Cristberg Representing Michael 28-29, 35 3 Michael returned so he took another job
Simone Heher Jenny Neuhaus Ex-girlfriend of Ralf 29-33 3 goes to the USA with Ralf
Edita Malovčić Stella Berger, b. Contini Enrico's sister 38-41, 44-52, 55, 57-60, 62-65, 67-69 4-6 Moves to Italy to her mother, then to Biggi, Enrico and their parents in order to be able to take better care of Oliver
Martin Halm Martin Eschborn Trainee pilot 48 4th had to surrender the license after several prohibited flight maneuvers
Tabea Tiesler Lena Lassen † Paramedic trainee 48 4th Depends on the safety of an injured person, which tears off under the weight of both and falls into the depth with both people
Shandra Schadt Anna Köster Daughter of Jens 55, 58-60, 62, 64, 67, 69-70, 72 5-6
Benedikt Stenger Oliver Berger Stellas and Peter's son goes to Italy with Stella, Enrico and Biggi
Sylvia Agnes Muc Yvonne Florian's flatmate 65, 67 6th
Christian bag Kai Menhoff Head of Human Resources at Medicopter 69-72 6th


Many of the stunt scenes were performed by the actors themselves; these have only been doubled in the rarest cases, which was also one of the reasons why many actors left. Major injuries could be avoided through extreme safety precautions on set, but Serge Falck suffered a shoulder dislocation while filming the 4th season . When filming the episode Inferno (5th season), the actor Serge Falck (as Peter Berger) was supposed to be hoisted aboard the helicopter, floating in the water. Due to the downwash caused by the helicopter, however, he was repeatedly pushed under the surface of the water and could hardly breathe. The scene was then canceled by the security experts. The motto “safety first” was always applied on the set.


The I-HECE / D-HECE with DRF paint

The MBB / Kawasaki BK 117 helicopters used were an important part of the series . At the time of the flood of the century in south and east Germany, the shooting of the new season had to be interrupted because the helicopter was needed for relief operations in the crisis area.

The design of the MBB / Kawasaki BK 117 was created especially for the series. The first aircraft with the aircraft registration D-HECE was leased for the first four squadrons by the German Air Rescue Service (today: DRF Luftrettung). After the end of her Medicopter career, the machine initially flew in the familiar color scheme as a replacement machine for the DRF, before it flew in Italy as a rescue helicopter with the new I-HECE registration. Today, the I-HECE is back in Germany, where it was used as a replacement machine at the DRF in the uniform color scheme until the BK 117 was approved again in Germany as D-HECE in spring 2007 and has since been back at the DRF at different locations in Use is. As part of the series, a fictitious replacement machine was often created using adhesive films from the D-HECE; so she was seen partly in individual episodes as D-HEOE and D-HEGE.

D-HEOE in Medicopter design

The second machine, which was used from the 5th season, still bears the registration D-HEOE. At that time it was also painted in the well-known Medicopter design; the license plate was masked for the filming to turn the O into a C. The D-HEOE also embodied a fictional replacement machine in several episodes. For this purpose, adhesive film was used to create the D-HFOF or D-HEGE label. In seasons 5 to 7, however, archive material from D-HECE can be seen more often.

After filming was over, the Medicopter-117 emblems were pasted over; the machine was initially used as a rescue helicopter at the IFA - International Flight Ambulance eV in Leipzig, after which the machine was chartered to the DRF - German Air Rescue Service eV until winter 2006. From 2007 the machine was used again with Medicopter-117 stickers by the company Helicopter Travel Munich (HTM), which had offered the machine for sale for a long time. The Medicopter 117 is now at DL Helicopter in Hamburg.

From winter 2010 the D-HEOE was rented to the company Flymed GmbH and flew rescue missions there as Airmed 2 in Scharnstein , Gmunden district ( Upper Austria ).

Due to various difficulties, Flymed had to cease operations in Scharnstein on October 3, 2010.

The helicopter was then taken to Straubing to change the engine. In September 2011 the helicopter was seen on the premises of Eurocopter in Donauwörth. The machine was equipped with an emergency float system in order to be able to operate safely at sea at its new location in Nordholz - where it is to be used for DL ​​helicopters in the offshore area, among other things. However, the machine is to be repainted in spring 2015.

Hans-Jürgen Ostler (HTM) has flown the BK 117 in all seasons.

Episode list

The end of the series

Shortly after the 7th season ended, RTL announced that it would no longer invest in filming. The reason given was: “We showed everything there was to show, normal rescues, rescues on ships, rescues in the mountains, rescues from helicopter to helicopter, rescues on motorway bridges and many, very many dramatic scenes. Over time, this would all look alike or even repeat. That's why we're forced to stay with 82 episodes in 7 seasons. "(RTL press release)

DVD / Blu-ray

So far, the following seasons of the series have been released on DVD / Blu-ray - published by KSM GmbH:

title Publication date Playing time Number of discs
Pilot film 0Oct 9, 2008 91 minutes 1
Medicopter 117 - Season 1 0Oct 9, 2008 363 minutes 3
Medicopter 117 - Season 2 Feb 12, 2009 663 minutes 4th
Medicopter 117 - Season 3 May 20, 2009 596 minutes 4th
Medicopter 117 - Season 4 0Nov 5, 2009 551 minutes 4th
Medicopter 117 - Season 5 0Feb. 4, 2010 645 minutes 4th
Medicopter 117 - Season 6 0May 3, 2010 598 minutes 4th
Medicopter 117 - Season 7 Oct 11, 2010 366 minutes 3
Medicopter 117 - The complete series Oct 20, 2014 3845 minutes 27
Medicopter 117 - The Complete Series - Blu-ray 19th June 2017 3885 minutes 7th

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Flymed flies with Medicopter 117 in the Salzkammergut ( memento of the original from July 18, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Operation ceased ( Memento of the original from July 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ↑ Change of engine
  4. Donauwörth ( Memento of the original from November 9, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /