Foundation and registered office
In December 1990, Air Service Berlin is founded as “Ruppiner Air Service” by pilots Frank Hellberg and Steffen Wardin at Fehrbellin Airport. The company moves to Tempelhof Airport in 2000, with the new name “Air Service Berlin CFH GmbH”. After Tempelhof closes in 2008, the company opens its own terminal at Schönefeld Airport, which remains the company’s headquarters until 2014. Today, the business headquarters are located directly on the grounds of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport and in the center of Berlin – at the Weltballon.
A successful product is developed in 1991 with traffic monitoring for the radio station Antenne Brandenburg. For the first time, pilots host the traffic shows. This is unique in Germany at the time. Today, the company works with Berlin’s most successful radio stations, 104.6 RTL and Spreeradio. The stations’ morning shows have won several awards, including the German Radio Prize.
In the fall of 1997, Air Service Berlin brings a seaplane from Sweden to the German capital and begins tourist flight operations on the Spree for 19 years. This is also, in the middle of such a narrow, large city unique. In 2016, the traffic density on the part of the Spree where the Red Seaplane takes off every day will then be too high. Safe take-off and landing is no longer possible and so, with a heavy heart, the company ceases seaplane operations at the end of the 2016 season. A landmark of Berlin disappears.
Largest tethered balloon in the world
After long and difficult preparations, the “Hi-Flyer”, the world’s largest tethered balloon, takes to the skies of Berlin for the first time in spring 2000. First as a Sat.1 balloon at Potsdamer Platz. With the change of location in 2006, the sponsor also changed. From now on, the newspaper “DIE WELT” is partner of the Berlin Hi-Flyer as the WELT balloon. The new location is right next to Checkpoint Charlie. The balloon station in Berlin is one of the world’s most successful tethered balloon stations and is also the city’s most spectacular viewing platform.
In 2001, Air Service Berlin brings a C-47 raisin bomber to the capital. After a very short time, the company develops into the largest event aviation company in Europe with this unique flight experience. The history of the Airlift comes alive again and captivates thousands of guests. In 2010, the aircraft is severely damaged after an emergency landing at Berlin-Schönfeld Airport and loses its airworthiness. The Raisin Bomber was planned to be rebuilt by the support association “Rosinenbomber e.V.” with donations. Air Service Berlin employees also volunteered their time to this association. In 2019, the project unfortunately had to be discontinued, as a change in the law would no longer have allowed flights. Another Berlin landmark disappears
In 2002, Air Service Berlin starts helicopter flights over Berlin and adds this license to its AOC. In addition to tourist sightseeing flights, the machines are used for film flights and as business shuttles. Meanwhile, more than 7000 guests per year experience the breathtaking view of the city and the spectacular feeling of flying in a helicopter. Our pilots have many years of film flight experience, which is known nationwide. It is not uncommon to see our red fliers in reports and feature films. Since 2017, the focus of helicopter flights is more and more on the tourist sector.
Air Service Berlin employs the pilots with the most flight experience over Berlin. The company is defined by the quality of special products, which are developed independently or with partners such as DLR or other business partners. These are brought to the market by us as a final product. Thereby the flight hour is an important part, but rarely the final product. Rather, flying is coupled with other elements to create an overall show. With this strategy Air Service Berlin has become the most successful event and special aviation company.
The aircraft C 172 / D-EOXO, our red machine for traffic control, was equipped with a new engine and airscrew system. The aim was to make the aircraft more efficient and quieter. The surveillance aircraft is the aircraft with the most flying hours over Berlin. More than 10,000 hours have been flown to date, 95% of which in Berlin airspace. In 2015, the tethered balloon in the center of Berlin received a completely new technical system and one of the most modern balloon envelopes. New materials and production processes bring brilliance to the fully printed envelope, which now also shines at night over Berlin.
Air Service Berlin offers banner advertising on its tethered balloon for external companies, associations, societies. For example, the banners of Samsung, Aktion Mensch, or the association ISMN e.V. gained great attention.
The event and special aviation company
The aviation company Air Service Berlin operates according to the rules of the European aviation law with the license number AOC 362 EG. We are subject to the control of the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt. With our fleet of aircraft, we carry the most passengers in the event and sightseeing flight sector, making us the largest provider of event flights in Germany. In traffic control, with special assignments for film and television, the company is the market leader in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Traffic monitoring and production of traffic news Tourist sightseeing flights Tethered balloon (world balloon) Event charter flights Special orders / film
Film and photo flight
Photo and aerial photos Balloon advertising
Helicopter Helicopter D-HERZ EC130 Berlin Hi-Flyer Model: Tethered balloon “WELT-Balloon Identification: D-OCUL Traffic control Model: Cessna C 172 Identifier: D-EOXO
Film flight pilot Klaus Bobzien
He is Berlin's number one helicopter pilot. When Klaus Bobzien climbs into his AS 350B, wearing a leather jacket, sunglasses and a mischievous smile on his face - only then is he in his element and feeling really good.
A glance at the guests on board shows: “everything’s okay, I’ve done this a thousand times before”. And the helicopter is already taking off in the direction of Berlin city. Bobzien has been flying helicopters for more than thirty years. His flying skills range from the Mi-8 cargo helicopter to the agile H 300. When asked which machine he liked best, the passionate pilot says: “The Mi-8 with its 12 tons was already a real helicopter, the other one is just a toy, but it’s also fun.” Flying helicopters in 1980 also marked the beginning of his film flying career. Whether he’s moving the machine on set as an extra or doing a job in Poland for the BBC. He is what it takes to do the job: focused, calm and highly professional. This is precisely why he is the most sought-after film flight pilot over Berlin. Since 2007, Klaus Bobzien has been flight operations manager at Air Service Berlin and chief pilot. That entails a lot of administrative work, which is why his days are often filled with application procedures, studying documents or preparing training for crews. But he feels most at home in his red AS 350B at 600 meters above Berlin, and then you can see that mischievous smile behind the pilot’s goggles again!
Managing Director and Pilot Steffen Wardin
Steffen Wardin, born in 1960, began gliding in his youth. As a pilot with the agricultural flight of Interflug, this passion became a profession from 1985. In 1991, shortly after the foundation of Air Service Berlin CFH GmbH, he became one of the shareholders.
From the very beginning, the main focus of his activity was the maintenance and servicing of aircraft and other technology required within the framework of the company. In 1997 he took over the function of Technical Operations Manager and in 1998 he was appointed Managing Director. In addition to his managing director activities, he flies the traffic control aircraft and the seaplane for projects. In 2000 he realized the first holistic painting of the world’s largest tethered balloon and later developed successful procedures for non-destructive paint removal and repainting of the currently operated “World Balloon” near “Checkpoint Charlie” in Berlin-Mitte. He was responsible for the technical and legal approval of the “Raisin Bomber” from 2001. Since 2006, in addition to his management duties, he has been head of CAMO and flies everything in the company that has wings. In addition, Wardin is involved in the board of the Förderverein Rosinenbomber e. V. and is responsible here for the technical realization of the reconstruction of the Raisin Bomber, which made an emergency landing in 2010.
„Commander“ Frank Hellberg
Frank Hellberg was the first flying traffic jam reporter in Germany. And: it was his own idea! Born in Wittstock, he became a professional pilot at the age of 25, flying for Interflug's agricultural flying squadron.
Flying low over the fields, up to 80 takeoffs and landings a day – that trained the pilots to the utmost. Here, the agricultural pilots still learned to fly by hand, without special instruments or even an autopilot. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and he happened to circle over the Berlin Ring and the city highway a few times, the mission was clear: to bring the traffic news from the air to the car radios – that’s it, isn’t it! He quickly presented his idea to a radio editorial team. He already owned an airplane and could fly. The only thing he still had to learn was how to present. The trial run a short time later was a resounding success. The job of flying traffic jam presenter was born and, incidentally, earned him the name “Commander Frank”, which is well-known in Berlin. The experiment began at Antenne Brandenburg. Large radio stations followed, such as 104.6 RTL and the Berlin radio station 91.4! In the meantime he has trained his own small flying radio crew, which is the only one flying in the exhausting airspace of Berlin between two towers at the same time and moderating for 2 stations in minute changes. But this was only the beginning. As managing director of Air Service Berlin CFH GmbH, Hellberg has dedicated himself to tourist flying. Berliners and their guests should be able to experience the world metropolis from above! Whether by seaplane, helicopter, giant biplane, the world’s largest tethered balloon or, soon again, the popular raisin bomber – the capital city loves to take off – with Commander Frank Hellberg and his crew! In addition, Hellberg advises and supervises research and transport projects, tourist flight projects, photo, film and media projects in Germany and Europe.