The long hitting Queenslander added a brilliant 7-under-par 63 to his opening 64 at the spectacular Crans-sur-Sierre course to move to 13-under and one ahead of South Africa’s Darren Fichardt.
Fichardt also signed for a 63, he and Hend opening a gap on the field with 9-under the next best score.
Another Australian, Todd Sinnott, is among that group with an impressive showing in his first trip to Switzerland.
New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, also playing the tournament for the first time, has found the layout to his liking to be at 8-under and sharing sixth.
Hend was out in the later groups on day two and knew what he needed to do before hitting off as Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee set the clubhouse target at 9-under in the morning.
After a run of six straight pars to begin his round it didn’t look as though anything special was in the works but an eagle at the short par-4 7th Sparked Hend into action.
He birdied the 9th to turn 3-under then amassed four birdies in his last five holes to jump to the top of the standings, his bogey free effort coming despite concerns about family at home in Florida.
Hend has lived on the US east coast for several years and with Hurricane Irma fast approaching admitted his mind hasn’t been completely focussed on golf.
"We're a bit worried about the kids in Florida with the sitter at the moment," he said after his round.
"We've been up late at night trying to find out contingency plans. I think they're going to get out of there. It's not worth the risk."
While pleased with his score Hend was careful not to get ahead of himself with two rounds remaining.
"It would be nice to putt a little bit better but you walk off with 63, it's fantastic," he said.
"I wouldn't say I've taken this place apart because this place can get back at you pretty quick.
“I just tried to play a bit more conservative than usual and I got lucky with a couple of shots."
Sinnott is yet to make a bogey at the Crans-sur-Sierre course with his second round 66 coming courtesy of two birdies on each nine.
Having earned his card at the Asian Tour Q-School in January year Sinnott has made the most of his first full year playing outside Australia with a victory at the co-sanctioned Myanmar Open in February.
That earned him full status on both the Asian and Japan Tours and a repeat here would see him gain full playing privileges in Europe also.
A shot further back and well in the mix is Ryan Fox who, like Sinnott, is teeing up here for the first time.
Despite a double bogey on each of the first two days the 30-year-old is making enough birdies to keep himself on the leaderboard and enters the weekend five behind and sharing sixth.
Eight Australasians made the cut, Marcus Fraser adding a second consecutive 2-under 68 to be T24 ahead of Nathan Holman and Jason Scrivener at 1-under and T54.
Sam Brazel and Brett Rumford scraped into the weekend at even par and T64.
Wade Ormsby missed by one and Jason Norris by two though Norris will take some confidence form his 2-under 68 after a disastrous opening 74.
WEEKEND PINS - THE 3RD AT ROSSDALE IN VICTORIA:
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