Aviation history

The Swedish Coast Guard was funded already in 1638. A long tradition has given a lot of experience and great knowledge. However, it took 338 years, until 1976, before air craft were used in an organized form and became an established part of the monitoring and surveillance at sea.


The Swedish Coast Guard aviation history begins with a pioneer spirit and personal commitment. A flight organization in the Swedish Coast Guard had sooner or later surely come about, but without the two "Nils" it would probably become a little later. Nils Månsson and Nils Gustavsson was pioneers when it came to transforming ideas into action. By their own initiative and with the support of their managers they both took a private pilot's license for small single engine airplanes. With the aircraft Cessna 172, Piper Cherokee and Rallye they conducted the first flights along Sweden's southern coasts. The results were many observations that colleagues on the Swedish Coast Guard vessels had good use for in their daily work.

Flights as complement

At this time, the Swedish Coast Guard was led by the head of border control; Roland Engdahl, who wanted the Coast Guard to have airborne units to complement the seagoing units. He noted also that this was a precondition for effective environmental monitoring, during his many visits abroad.

Engdahl engaged the former head officer of the Navy's Helicopter Wing in Berga, Commander Hans Lindström, to investigate the need for airplanes. The study resulted in the information and recommendation that there was a need of air units, and both Engdahl and Lindström and they made way for the establishment of flight operations. To their help they had several employees, except for the two "Nils"  the former head Swedish Coast Guard officials Lars Franzén and Assar Lööf.

Engined plane

If  you were to fly over the open sea it was desirable to have a twin-engine aircraft. In the mid 70's Aero Commander 500, Partenavia, Nomad, Islander, Cessna 337 and Cessna 402 were therefore tested as suitable aircraft. Flight operations were now so extensive that the sample formed a "flight coastal outpost" in Simrishamn. Operations took place from Sturup airport.


In 1976 the Government decided that the Swedish Coast Guard was to set up a test flight organization and July 1, 1976 became the official starting point for flight operations.

The government's decision also meant the increase of money for the leasing of aircraft. By this time Swedair had the single rights of the selling and leasing of air services to the state. Swedair was also the Swedish representative for Cessna as the selection of the aircraft was limited. Because there was a preference of a certain design of aircraft and the requirement of two engines the only remaining alternative was Cessna 337.

The Cessna 337 is a slightly odd aircraft construction with a pushing and a pulling motor. At an engine failure is not the skewing effect that occurs if the motors are positioned wing, making the aircraft is considered more easily flown. Two aircraft were leased and placed on the established airports, Sturup and Bromma.


To set up an aviation unit naturally demanded that there were staff who could fly.

Experience as a  Swedish Coast Guard

The experience of the tests in the south showed that it was important that aviation officers "talked the same language" as his colleagues on the boats - the aviators were therefore to be trained coast guard officials.

The experience of service at sea would be used for observations from the air and it was important to know what the surveillance was. In a newspaper interview made clear Nisse Månsson its views.

- Not anyone can be a  Swedish Coast Guard official, but my old mother can learn to fly ...

Intensive pilot training

The establishment of an aviation was preceded by an intensive pilot training. A private Certificate was no longer enough for professional flight operations and the need for new pilots at Bromma was soon obvious

Qualified selection procedures had not yet been implemented - interest and ambition were an important selection criteria! The leaders of the Coast Guard understood, however, that quite soon even more pilots would be necessary and therefore started a cooperation with the Swedish Defence Withdrawal Commission (UTK) for internal recruitment.

Positive development

The two 337 aircraft -GMM ​​and -GMZ were equipped with their own SLAR -GYP had a complete system with SLAR and IR / UV. All registered observations could be stored on video tape, if necessary, and the recording of time and position were made on all the video and photo recordings.

New profession

Sweden was at that time one of the world's leading nations concerning advanced remote sensing systems for civil monitoring. An additional person was required for the operation of the system and a new profession, the system operator, was born. Surveillance yielded results in the form detection of numerous oil spills, which was also reflected in the media.


Amid the positive development there was a major disaster in 1984. During a routine flight with -GMZ, then Nisse Månsson and his observer Bo Klint were searching for an oil spill south of Falsterbo, when they flew into fog and lost their references. The accident was unavoidable and the two colleagues were killed. A positive and optimistic spirit turned into shock and great sadness.

The accident was a tragedy for the families and colleagues. The question of what actually had occurred occupied many people's thoughts. The loss of personnel and aircraft also affected the flight time as production was up almost 3000 hours per year.

An event of this kind naturally affected the future of flight operations and was a major reason for a more secure system with two pilots were introduced, and that the process of getting new, safer and larger aircraft accelerated.

New aircraft

At the time of the accident the Swedish Coast Guard flight operations called in Anders Nilsson. He had, together with representatives of the Navy, begun the search for a new aircraft. The Navy had need of anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and the government wanted the Coast Guard and the Navy to procure the aircraft together and of the same type.

Searched right aircraft

In December 1984, Lars Franzen received the appointment to the service pending a replacement and was eventually appointed new VP-Operations. The somewhat inexperienced Lars Fransén took over the the task of finding a suitable aircraft together with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and the Navy.

Casa or Dornier?

The Navy was instructed to invest in the same type of aircraft as the Coast Guard and the requirements came to be largely governed by this fact. Now the aircraft was also to be purchased, not leased, thus Swedair was no longer the sole supplier.

The Coast Guard preferred the Dornier 228, but the Navy wanted CASA 212, stating that Dornier 228 was too small. The CASA  was a Spanish aircraft and as such had little experience in and of Sweden. All evaluations were good, and better than the  and the Coast Guard's other options. The Navy put into their right of  "veto" against the Dornier and the whole operation seemed doomed unless the Coast Guard accepted the other aircraft. The Coast Guard finally decided it was in need of larger aircraft and at a staff meeting it was decided to support the election of the CASA 212.

A real lift

The delivery of the new aircraft would be from the factory in Seville in June 1986 and a number of pilots were trained on the new aircraft. In August it was ready for delivery and after test flights and accurate delivery checks from FMV the return trip to Sweden was initiated. The arrival at Bromma occurred in connection with a major air show where the General Customs Director Björn Ericsson and large audience received.

In June 1987, the installations of remote sensing and other equipment were ready in the first plane and it flew directly to Paris together to show off the airplane at the air show in Le Bourget. The exhibition is the largest of its kind and that the Coast Guard was there showed that the Swedish concept was the world leader in this niche.

Three workhorses

The two new planes were placed at Bromma and Sturup. Cessna 402 was placed on Save-airport, and the remaining 337-ball was taken out of regular service, but was used for some years for flight training and transport and is now museum pieces at Aeroseum in Gothenburg.

Remote sensing system in the new aircraft had been developed. Digitization and computers entered the market and for a period this created problems, but the benefits were considerable.

Today we can say that the development has gone in the right direction. Problems of various kinds have gradually been overcome and aircraft equipment has been a major boost for the Coast Guard and flight operations. Today we consider the aircraft as workhorses that do very good service. 1990 replaced the Cessna 402 with a third-CASA, which meant that we got a uniform fleet.


In August 2001, Coast Guard Air Patrol celebrated its 25th anniversary with seminars and celebrations. A large number of organizations, with similar air monitoring, from all over Europe were invited. 16 organizations responded positively to the invitation, and all 14 of them arrived with their own aircraft. The large turnout was very encouraging and probably a result of the reputation of the Coast Guard internationally in this field. A reputation mainly created by all the constructive and engaging activities that flight personnel put on their work over the years.

After the Coast Guard aviation celebrated its first 25 successful years the Coast Guard noted that aircraft no longer corresponded to the business requirements and that there was a need for a better working environment for staff. Increased internationalization and the high attendance requirements together with more efficient sensors and documentation equipment imposes additional requirements on new aircraft and in 2008 replaced Casorna of three new aircraft of the Dash 8Q-300.

2007-01-16, in addition to history:

KBV 585 plunges in Falsterbo Canal

On 26 October 2006 the Coast Guard was struck by another very tragic accident. KBV 585, which was out on a routine mission along the south coast, lost one wing and crashed in the Falsterbo canal. Colleagues at the station witnessed the accident and was first on the scene of rescue. The two pilots and two system operators killed and once again exchanged a positive and optimistic spirit against shock and great sadness.

The crew of the KBV 585; Johan Wendel, Robert Hultgren, Michael Johnson and Fredrik Eriksson worked for other people's safety and security on the seas, and they lost their lives in this work. We remember them and are deeply grateful for their efforts in the Coast Guard and Sweden.