Oostmalle Fly In : A good edition...but...

Text &  Pictures: Serge Van Heertum - ©SBAP 2011 

 

Aerial view of Zoersel-oostmalle (Google earth)

Oostmalle airfield is an old Belgian Air Force diversion base located at 30 kilometers north-east of Antwerpen. Equipped with a single runway 05/23 of around three kilometers, some old buildings are still present like an hangar in the typical Belgian Air Force 1960s style. This airfield is now the home base of the "Aeroparaclub der Kempen". This dynamic club held on August 20th & 21st their annual Fly-in. Thanks to the Air-2-Air academy that held their annual session at same time and same place, the participating aircrafts to the fly in were really impressive. A good mix between old aircraft, warbirds, modern sport machine, helicopters and also old military vehicles.

This fly in was a real fair with some special aircraft like P-40N, TF-51D, Yak's and other Skyraiders. There was also a T-28 "Trojan" or "Fennec" festival (in function of the American or French origin). But without any doubt the most amazing and in one word the star of the event was the Sikorsky S-38B "Osa's Ark" amphibious aircraft coming from the US. This aircraft that could be seen in the movie "The aviator" with Leonardo Di Caprio  and is owned by the veteran pilot Tom Schrade. He did a transatlantic flight from Minnesota to Germany to raise money for a charity organization: Children's charity Wings of hope.

A great “ fly in” event  with so many participants is certainly not easy to organize.
The edition 2011 was a success with around 20.000 visitors during the week-end...but...

   
Sikorsky S-38B "Osa's Ark", the star of the week-end
The Sikorsky S-38 was an American twin-engined 8-seat amphibious aircraft. It was sometimes called "The Explorer's Air Yacht" and was Sikorsky's first widely produced amphibious flying boat which in addition to serving successfully for Pan American Airways and the U.S. Army, also had numerous private owners who received notoriety for their exploits.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
SNCAN Nord 1203 "Nordecrin"  
   
  Marcel Dassault MD-415 Flamant and Nanchang CJ-5 (Yak 18)
   
Bell 47G-3B-1  
   
  Stinson AT-19 "Reliant"
   
Curtiss P-40N and Douglas Skyraider Some engine test on this beautifull warbird
   
Douglas AD-4N Skyraider North American T-6 harvard
   
North American TF-51D "Scat IV"  
   
Weba Pitts S-2A a last pass before the incident Give me the moon, give me a Piper Cub to catch it
   
  German civil North American T-6 Harvard Mk 4
   
Boeing A75N1 (PT17)  Stearman  
   
  Bristol Buldog T1, the former RAF trainer
   
Gyroflug SC-01B-160 Speed canard... ... no doubt is permit !
   
Dornier DO-27A-1 and another one in aluminium paint
   
Pilatus P-3-05 Pilatus P-3-03
   
   
North American T-28 Festival, when the Trojan meet the Fennec
   
   
   
   
   
  North American T-28S "Fennec"
   
  North American T-28B "Trojan"
   
  North American T-28B "Trojan"
   
  North American T-28B "Trojan"
   
  North American T-28A "Fennec"
   
   
   
   

Second world war ambiance...The RAF 70 years ago.

  Hello Sir, where is your Spitfire?
   
The presence of the Belgian Air Force is always a must for the organizers
   
Comopsair IPR stand With "Jo", "Rutger" (demo pilot Agusta)
and "Danny 1". Carels from Silver Wing Magazine
   
But...
 

All conditions were present at Oostmalle, a perfect airfield, sun (sadly in the face for photographers), many aircraft but, and  this is not usual for us to underline there were some negative points. First we could feel serious tension between some air-2-air academy participant and the management of the academy with some heated debate in public. But the most important, despite the best effort of the organizers, was the security aspect during this fly in. Take Off clearence when a Piper Cub was in short final (had to make a go around and right turn above the public), a Marshaller asking an helicopter pilot to overfly the public at real low-level to set the machine at another position, passenger buses on the taxiway crossing airplanes on taxi, bicycle on the taxiway, crowd walking everywhere and especially on the taxi tracks near running aircraft and without security guides and jackets. It's for real the first time that our team could see so many dangerous situations on an aeronautical event, with inter alia serious damage on a plane, the "Weba" Pitts S-2A. With our experience in aviation and many professional years spent on the Brussels National apron, we felt the need to emphasize certain facts so that organizers can review the safety points for upcoming events.
We are sure, this will be taken as positive feedback and we just can conclude with: don't miss the next Malle
"Fly In" !

 

   
Many people around the planes without safety guides Who have priority?
   
Week-end walk... ...on the taxiways
   
The result due to real lack of security matter... The "Weba" Pitts with the upper and lower wings damaged
   
Seems that a bus is stronger as the wings of a Pitts... ...sad for the pilot !
   

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