Text & Pictures: Régis "Rage" Rocca   © sbap 2016

Feet in the water, heads in the sky.

It is now a tradition, the last date in the French airshow calendar is that of an event held right above the beaches of Ste-Maxime (83, Var).
An important date as for all participating teams and units, it marks the end of the season. This year again, the show was of the highest quality.

First of all, and as it is the main event, the Free Flight World Masters, the brainchild of Bleuciel Airshow and its energetic and visionary Director, Laurent Cahuzat. The competition was mouth-watering and the displays breathtaking. History remember that over the two days and numerous displays, the finals were contested by Nicolas Ivanoff and his Extra 330 in Hamilton livery and Capitaine "Bunny" Brusque and the French Air Force aerobatics team Extra 330. The latter was to win the duel and receive the winner's trophy on the Sunday evening.

In front of a large crowd enjoying the sandy beach, the show was on, on land and in the sky. On land, with Willy Gruhier commentating, a well-known aerobatic pilot and TV commentator for the Red Bull Air Races… ably supported by the ever popular Free Flight Girls.

In the sky, a great show was given, with a demonstration flight by the French Navy's Dauphin helicopter, a Stearman, a T6 and a Zéphyr (naval version of the Fouga Magister), every one of them a symbol of their period. The parachutists of the Air Force Team displayed the full range of their talent. A duo of Tigre helicopters of the French Army Aviation gave a very impressive demonstration.
The show was truly international, with the Spanish ASPA team flying their EC 120s. At very short distance from the public the 5 helicopters displayed their considerable performance.

As true Ambassadors of the French Air Force, the Rafale Solo Display and the Patrouille de France were the cherry on the cake for this event with their powerful displays.
Finally, a special mention is due to the "Cartouche Doré" team, flying Epsilons, as it was their final airshow, the team is to be disbanded. An emotional moment, then with this fine team. Farewell, "cartouche", you were magnificent…

As usual, everything was perfectly organized and your SPAP correspondent was made very welcome. Many thanks to Laurent and Véronique, his wife, the Bleuciel duo. Thanks to the pilots for their availability, their kindness and easy going attitude. Many thanks to the charming Hamilton hostesses for their smiles and kind attention.

Sexy girls, hot immatriculations & dream place
The BleuCiel Air Show Circus
Nicolas Ivanoff and his "Hamilton" plane
EVAA, the team of the Winners
Podium & Trophies
Maritime rescue demonstration by the Dauphin of Marine Nationale
The beauty of the Stearman
The blue sky and the yellow plane
The Zephir, so classic but so chic
The French wing of French Air Force
Wing Tango and great finale !
Keep your head down, this is the Tigre of French Army
Like the five fingers of the hand, the spanish aerobatic team ASPA
Go Belgium go !
The stunning French Rafale at the sunset
So perfect, so graphic, Ladies & Gentlemen, la Patrouille de France !
The last but the... last of the Cartouche Doré. Farewell the blue and gold ! :'-(

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