Text: Serge Van Heertum -  Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys © sbap 2014

Since a couple of years the Belgian Air Force organizes a press conference to introduce the pilots and technicians of the new airshow season and to also emphasize on the major annual event organized by the Air Force. On April 30, rendez-vous to the press was given at the Limburg airbase of Kleine Brogel.

After an introduction by LtGen Avi Claude Van de Voorde, Air Component Commander, the press conference started with the presentation of the teams by Mrs Sofie Naeyaert, in charge of IPR communications. Overview of the pilots, the Red Devils including some minor changes as we will see further on, the A109 Agusta team and the F-16 team in its last year... time flies...

Regarding the Red Devils, the n° 4 in 2013, Stefaan "Stef" Braem left the team after three years and was replaced by Cdt Avi Corentin "Regio" Leveau as the n° 3 for his first year on the team. Capt Avi Steve "Mag" Malburny moved on to the n° 4 and solo position. The team is still led by Cdt Avi Paul "Paolo" Leys and the n° 2 position is still taken by Cdt Avi Davy "Daffy" Vanhaeren.

Following this overview a detailed presentation was given by Col Avi Paul Desair, base commander of Kleine Brogel, on the airshow planned on September 13 and 14, 2014. Every major point in particular and often invisible for the public was clarified as was the organization in general, the safety aspect and emergency plans where nothing is left at random, the organization of transportation and access to the base and of course the program of the festivities including the various themes of this event.

Let us hold back following themes which will be the presentation guidelines: 100 years of aviation in Belgium with an authentic Blériot XI from Sweden. 100th  anniversary of the beginning of World War I, the 70th  anniversary of the landing in Normandy which was the beginning of the liberation of Europe during World War II and finally, closer to us (if we can say so...) 35 years of dedicated service of the F-16 fighter in the Air Force.

Besides these various themes, the presented participants list was quite attractive... Some very interesting solo-displays covering the different eras of aviation, but also no less than 9 military and civil teams... our "Red Devils", the "Victor" team, the "Breitling Jet Team", the "Royal Jordanian Falcons", the Swiss "Patrouille PC-7", the "Patrouille de France", the "Red Arrows", the Italian "Frecce Tricolori" and the icing on the cake the "Al Fursan" from the United Arab Emirates. In one word, a beautiful gathering for the pleasure of the eyes and the ears.

Noteworthy is the fact that some rumours (not confirmed by the officials during the press conference) state the possible presence, straight from the United States, of a F-22 Raptor. As mentioned, no confirmation yet, but our sources estimate the certainty at a mere 95%... If confirmed, this would be a real plus for the organizers.

Let us return to the organization of the program which is the result of cooperation between the Air Force, in particular the airbase of Kleine Brogel, and the dynamic team of the Sanicole Aeroclub, well known for its exceptional airshows. For the past years the Air Force supported Sanicole by providing technical means and other facilities. As this year the airshow will take place at the airbase itself, the Sanicole team put his dynamism, exceptional show taste and contacts at the service of the Air Force. In short, a combination that will provide us and all passionate of beautiful machines a "top hat" airshow on the European continent.

We wish all the success to the organizers of the Air Force as well as to the team of Mr Bueckenberghs and his Sanicole team in their venture. We also do hope Mr Meteo and his famous frog acknowledged the message and do place the necessary orders to provide summer temperatures and beautiful sunny blue skies with some fair weather clouds for the beauty of the pictures (note to Mr Meteo : this is valid for the whole 2014 season. Thank you!).

Let's have a look at the pictures and presentations of the different teams, but first we would like to thank hardly LtGen Avi Claude Van de Voorde, Col Avi Paul Desair and Mrs Sofie Naeyaert for inviting us at the press conference and the reserved reception for the media. Also a wink to Capt Sarah Damiaans, AdjtChef Philippe "Smurf" Van Huyck and Adjt Erwin Hamers our guides for the day.

 

 

 

(Serge Van Heertum)

 


(Serge Van Heertum)
 
Jacques "Red" Dewaelheyns, the team godfather
(Serge Van Heertum)
Pair take off (Serge Van Heertum) First loop (Serge Van Heertum)
Combined formation and solo figures (Marc Arys) Close formation (Serge Van Heertum)
Opposite cross (Marc Arys) "Regio" at landing (Serge Van Heertum)
Technicians and PR (Serge Van Heertum) The complete 2014 team (Marc Arys)
 
Pilots: Shaggy & Kevin  (Marc Arys)  & The H24 (Serge Van Heertum)
 

In the office (Serge Van Heertum)

Always impressive flares effects (Serge Van Heertum)

Hot...Hot...Hot!  (Serge Van Heertum)
Left flare just launched... (Serge Van Heertum) ...and exploding (Marc Arys)

The H24 ready for the 2014 season (Serge Van Heertum)

Salute the public before landing (Serge Van Heertum)
Technical crew (Serge Van Heertum) The 2014 team (Marc Arys)
   
Always smiling "Grat" (Serge Van Heertum) "Grat" office (Serge Van Heertum)
   

#1 Two aviation passianate (Marc Arys) & #2 (Serge Van Heertum)
High left turn (Serge Van Heertum) The 2014 ballet (Serge Van Heertum)
Flares effect during the demo (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Overhead ressource (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Fast and furious...(Serge Van Heertum)
Climbing (Serge Van Heertum) Last touch and go before landing (Serge Van Heertum)
     
     
 
   
More infos...click on the poster... The demonstartion teams (Serge Van Heertum & "Al Fursan" Bruno Ghils)
   

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