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

The end of the airshow season has well and truly arrived and so has the autumn with its ballet of dead leaves twirling around as the wind blows... It has now become a kind of a tradition that the demonstration teams of the Air Force present a last display at their home base. Unfortunately the last flight of the Belgian F-16 solo-display, a.k.a. “Grat” foreseen at the beginning of November, was cancelled. Operational needs prevailed and our always smiling pilot of the FA84 is called on for duty, bound for Jordan... In one word: Good luck and always safe landing.

But let us come back to traditions. October 21 was the date chose by the “Red Devils” for their concluding flight of the season. From the beginning of the afternoon, the leader “Paolo” and his wingmen kept a careful look at the weather forecast which was far from good. However, briefing went on and of course the “low show” was on program. Overview of the weather forecast, timing, alternates and safety matters. Then on to the mental rehearsal of the show (known as “la musique” for the Patrouille de France). Always impressive to watch as the pilots are highly concentrated for this professional routine. Once the briefing over, the team put a “nose” on the outside to take note of heavy rains and, sometimes' violent wind gusts... In all, not so good signs...  But at Brussels, there were some bright weather intervals with the winds pushing them towards Beauvechain.

OK guys... We do it! were the words of the leader and at 15.30 hrs the crewchiefs readied the airplanes. Arrival of the pilots, walk around and start up. As by magic, skies cleared and our Reds taxied to the holding of the runway 22R... and take-off for the last presentation of 2014. With grey skies, white clouds and some beautiful blue breaks they flew their demo although with some difficulties due to the wind gusting to 37 knots!

During the demonstration a new rainy front progressed towards Beauvechain and the “Reds” had to shorten their show... Break, downwind, finals... unfortunately this little storm was already on top of us... “Paolo” and “Daffy” landed safely but after an eventful aborted landing of “Mag”, “Reggio” and “Mag” left the area to enter an holding waiting for the skies to clear up allowing them to land safely. Once the waterfront gone, the n° 3 and n° 4 landed without a further glitch to rejoin the apron of hangar C3. Mission accomplished for our ambassadors!

Afterwards there was the “friendships drink” with various speeches during which “Paolo” summarized this well loaded season in presence of “old and bold pilots” from the 74B promotion celebrating the 40th anniversary of the signature of their enrolment in the Air Force... on October 21, 1974!

The 2014 season has ended and the red airplanes are set in their warmly hangar... Airplanes, pilots, crew chiefs and technicians are already awaiting the 2015 season and it will be with great pleasure to see them again and the SBAP-team will try to follow them on a maximum with new reports.

We would like to thank heartily the authorities of the Beauvechain airbase for their cordial reception, “Paolo” and his team for the invitation and the marvelous moments shared with the “Red Devils”.

See you back next year, guys!
 

I'm waiting in the rain (Well known melody...)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Where is it? (Serge Van Heertum) Poor activities at EBBE, some C-130H touch and go (Serge Van Heertum)
Waiting the pilots for a last one! (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
The briefing...
Instructions given by N° "Paolo" (Serge Van Heertum) "Daffy" taking some notes (Serge Van Heertum)
"Concentrated "Reggio" (Serge Van Heertum) "Mag" as solo (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Daily informations (Serge Van Heertum) The high viz program...not today! (Serge Van Heertum)

The mental display...no, "Daffy" is not falling asleep but make a high rate turn... (Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys)
The yellow birds remain in the hangar, too bad weather for the students
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
A SF.260 in maintenance (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
The parking remain empty... (Serge Van Heertum) ...behalve the "Reds" (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys)
15:30, the technicians prepare the aircraft (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
"Jacko", "Danny", Didier" (the chief) and "Steven" (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Preparing for the last demo of 2014 (Serge Van Heertum)

Turn around  pics 1 & 2 (Marc Arys)  pics 3 & 4 (Serge Van Heertum)

The crewchiefs  1 & 2 (Marc Arys)  pics 3 & 4 (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)

1...2...3...4...Everybody is there! (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Run up! (Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
The RED DEVILS...Ready to go! (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys)
Go for the show...

Have a good flight..."Paolo" (Marc Arys), Daffy", "Reggio" and "Mag"  (Serge Van Heertum)
Taxi to the RNW 22R  (Serge Van Heertum) Students coming to see the team...may be future demo pilots (Serge Van Heertum)
First pass in box formation (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Swan formation (Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)

"T" formation (Serge Van Heertum)
A mix of grey and white clouds... (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Line astirn fly by (Serge Van Heertum) Grey background with sun...always a good mix (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
"Mag" rolling around the team (Serge Van Heertum, Marc Arys & Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)

Like an attack! (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) The majesty of the nature (Serge Van Heertum)
Crossing (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) High speed pass from the solo  (Serge Van Heertum)
The weather become really bad!  (Serge Van Heertum) Heavy clouds and rain begin with little bit sun  (Serge Van Heertum)

"Paolo" back to the parking  (Serge Van Heertum)

"Daffy" coming also  (Serge Van Heertum)
Towing to the hangar  (Serge Van Heertum) "Daffy" explaining the difficult landing  (Serge Van Heertum)
"Reggio" and "Mag" back to base after a sightseeing  (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
The last one also to the hangar  (Serge Van Heertum) A job for the technicians  (Serge Van Heertum)
After flight technical inspection  (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
The one and only...Red Devils team!  (Serge Van Heertum)
Stored for the winter season...  (Serge Van Heertum)
The remembrance folder for the pilot of 74B The 74B Prom insigna
The Prom 74B (via Meu²)
Speech...  (Serge Van Heertum) ...and a drink to conclude this last demo  (Serge Van Heertum)
Talk...talk...talk..."Red" Dewaelheyns, the godfather of the team, was also present!
(Serge Van Heertum)

Reports Menu - Homepage