Text: Serge Van Heertum - Translation: Marc Arys  © sbap 2016
Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Serge van Oosterzee
 

As we already announced it in August, the "Red Devils" mascot was about to leave the team at the end of the 2016 season. After an action sale through a well-known website, 'Diablo' found his new dad. So on October 20, "Diablo" had his last take-off with his team having flown with quite a lot of pilots or well-known teams like the "Patrouille de France" or the "Frecce Tricolori".
For this last flight, Beauvechain Air Base welcomed guests from the aviation world, families, but also protégés from the ANAHM - NVHVG (Association Nationale d'Aide aux Handicapés Mentaux - Nationale Vereniging voor Hulp aan Verstandelijk Gehandicapten - National Association for Help to Mentally Disabled People) for whom "Diablo" accumulated all these flying hours in his "logbook".
The end of the after-noon started with a tour of the hangar, allowing to see the SF.260 from close-by and to get a perception of the maintenance work on an aircraft. Afterwards our hosts of the day the "Red Devils" prepared themselves for a display to all those invited, all very impatient to see them flying.
Sadly, after a clear break in the weather, clouds came back with some rain but nevertheless, the "Red Devils" started up. Our poor friends from the shadows, the technicians, were on the receiving end of an unrelenting rain shower. This just shows that even within the flames from hell, one has to wet himself.
After take-off, our four devils made some passes to estimate the cloud base and finally the fair weather display was flown with mastery, as always! At the end of the display, sun was peering through the clouds again and the return to the apron was done under a beautiful sunlight.
Engine stopped and the crowd greeted the pilots and technicians with wild applauses. A little refreshment for the pilots, a souvenir picture with "Diablo" and the circle was full. "Diablo" just completed the last flight of his career.

Time had come to go over to the facilities of the 9 Squadron for the drink and at this occasion "Jean" launched the speeches and the acknowledgements for the "Red Devils" 2016 season, which was quite an intense one but moreover a very successful one thanks to the support of the authorities such as the 1st Wing and the IPR services from the Air Component.
Everybody got his personal little word with the distribution of souvenirs. Humour was also present in this superb environment which is the Air Force. "Paolo" then took the stand to talk about "Diablo", the purpose of this mascot and the association the Red Devils had chosen to uphold. The bank cheque was handed over to the chairman of ANAHM - NVHVG who did not conceal his delight and joy for the support he was receiving from the non-disabled to the disabled people.
"Diablo was given to his new Dad Niko with whom he will certainly enjoy a sweet and well deserved retirement. His logbook stays with him and so they both will be able to recall all these flights, of which some were amazing, such as a flight in an Alouette III exercising with a ship of the Japanese Imperial Navy.
After these emotional moments, the number 3 of the team, "Daffy", was put forward to thank him for being part of the team and emphasize on some humoristic moments of his career with the "Red Devils". To conclude, "Daffy" got a splendid desk model and a board resuming in pictures his 3 years with the team as to remember all these great moments.
The whole SBAP-team wishes him a nice flight to new horizons and wishes to thank him heartily for his kindness we have been able to appreciate all along the 3 years.
We wishes the best to the ANAHM - NVHVG association which struggles every day to offer a better world to the disabled persons and also a happy retirement to "Diablo" for his good and faithful services with the "Red Devils".
I would like to thank personally all the "Red Devils", pilots, technicians and public relation for inviting me to this event, the souvenirs which were given to me went straight to my heart. Thanks the "Reds" for entrusting me and for your incredible kindness.
Fan n°. 1 of the "Red Devils" forever!

 
 A little visit to the hangar before the show
(© Serge Van Heertum)
Always an impressive view: the maintenance of an aircraft
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) Some of the association protected could taste the SF.260
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 The planes are ready for the show and the last flight of "Diablo"  (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) The spare aircraft is also ready
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 Go for the show...
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) ...starting with the traditional turnaround
(© Serge Van Heertum)

 The pilots: "Paolo" - "Jean" - "Daffy" - "Papy"  (© Serge Van Heertum)
Crew chief and pilot
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
Strapping in
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
Start up clearance
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge van Oosterzee)

 The technicians: "Didier" - "Jacko" - "Steven" - "Danny"  (© Serge Van Heertum)
The audience of the day   (© Serge van Oosterzee)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) Even in the flames of Hell they must get wet
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 Devil one...clear for taxi...
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) Go for the show
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 The fair weather display but sadly with a grey background
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge van Oosterzee) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 "Papy" on duty
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge van Oosterzee)
Final break
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
The spare awaiting the brothers in arm after the rain
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 Awaiting the planes and the pilots
(© Serge Van Heertum)
Here they come!
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 "Paolo" with the ST23
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 "Jean" and the ST36
(© Serge Van Heertum)
"Daffy" taxiing his ST34
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 Always Devil minded...
(© Serge Van Heertum)
"Papy" with the ST15
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 Back to the parking after one more beautifull display  (© Serge Van Heertum)
 A last power up before cut off
(© Serge Van Heertum)
Flight is over time for a refreshment
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
A last "Diablo" picture in his aircraft
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
"Diablo" did his last flight of his career with "Paolo"
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 Devils...yes but with a great heart for people in need  (© Serge Van Heertum)
"Paolo" signing "Diablo" logbook for his last flight
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
"Diablo" and his suitcase are ready for the move...last day with the "Red Devils"
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
 Time for speeches and thanks
(© Serge Van Heertum)
"Tcholle" the 9th Squadron Commander Officer
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 "Buggy" and "Therese"
(© Serge Van Heertum)
The organizers of Brasschaat open door
(© Serge Van Heertum)

The technicians, super friendly guys too!
(© Serge Van Heertum)

 "Fifi" the Red Devils Public Relation...another great guy of this team
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 "Diablo" is going to leave the team...
(© Serge Van Heertum)
Thanks to the Red Devils involvment, 
a wonderfull amount offered to the ANAHM - NVHVG association
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 "Niko" the new "Diablo" dad and "Steven" his guardian during 3 years.
Have a nice and quiet retirement "Diablo"
(© Serge Van Heertum)
"Daffy" will leave the team at the end of the 2016 season, 
but will remain a SF.260 freak thanks to this nice present. 
All the best for your new challenges "Daffy" and many thanks for 
your kindness during all our meetings  (© Serge Van Heertum)
 

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