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The action series „Medicopter 117 – Jedes Leben zählt“ (English: Medicopter 117 – Every life counts) were produced by the German TV-channel RTL and the Austrian TV-channel ORF (broadcaster) from 1997 to 2002.
The series has 7 seasons and 82 episodes. 6.67 million people watched the series in Germany. Medicopter 117 started on 12 January 1998 in Germany and Austria with the television pilot “Der Kronzeuge”.
The Medicopter 117 is a fictitious rescue helicopter in the German Alps. The series does not indicate where it is based. In the series the helicopter and its crew rescue people in great danger.
The episode with the most expensive minute was the last episode in the first season. In the episode “Der Absturz” the helicopter crashed in the mountains after a collision with a cable car robe. The crash sequence took one minute and cost 1 million DM.
In the series two helicopters were used. The first helicopter with the registration D-HECE was borrowed from the DRF (Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht). When the D-HECE was not being used for the series, it flew real rescue missions at DRF locations. However, at the beginning of the fifth season the DRF ended its cooperation, for unknown reasons. Later the helicopter was painted in the DRF colors (red and white).
The second helicopter with the registration D-HEOE was a former police helicopter in Baden-Württemberg. After its Medicopter career it flew rescue missions for different operators like DRF, IFA (Internationale Flugambulanz) and the Austrian operator Flymed. A few times the helicopter was used for sightseeing flights. Today it is using as an offshore helicopter in the North Sea.
From 2008 to 2012 all the seasons of the action series were published on DVD.