Text: Serge Van Heertum - Translation: Marc Arys
Pictures: Serge Van Heertum, Anthony Graulus, Jacques Vincent, Philippe Decock
İ sbap 2018
 

The National Holiday is always a big moment for the population which in great majority has the black, yellow and red colours deeply anchored in their hearts. The results of the Belgian soccer team Red Devils during the world cup reinforced this feeling even more. In short, national Pride is still obvious in Belgium.
Eagerly awaited on this festive day, was the military and civil parade at the Royal Palace before starting the other celebrations.
The troop's parade had an historical connotation of the Great War, which ended a century ago and so, vehicles and soldiers from this past, marched before the Royal grandstand to remember this sad era.
Awaited as well, was the aerial fly pass which also had various connotations. The festive mood for the 5 years of the reign of King Philip, emphasized by a formation of F-16 depicting the number "5" in the skies overhead Brussels, together with a nostalgic note for many members of our Air Force, as this was the last time we could see the valorous Seaking and still frisky Alpha Jets in this fly pass.
2019 will indeed be a key year in the history of the Air Force, which after 42 years will lose her mythical Seakings in favour of the new NH90 NFH, fully operational at this day. The Air Force will, after almost 40 years, also phase out its Dassault-Breguet-Dornier (AMD) Alpha Jet 1B, without providing a replacement for them, as from now on, future pilots will complete their advanced training course in the United States.
This was the last time these elegant trainer aircraft, which trained hundreds of pilots, trailed their national coloured smoke above the Royal Park. The Seaking made its last pass over the Royal Park as leader of the box, including the NH90 (TTH & NFH) and Alouette III.
Despite this nostalgia, 21 of July, is a celebration day and various military airbases of the Air Force opened their doors for the families and friends of our servants.
Our teams went to Florennes and Beauvechain, allowing us to present our readers a florilegium of all these aerial activities.
The opportunity was also given to be part of the fly pass aboard the NH90 TTH and in doing so, immortalize the valiant Seaking for its last time overhead Brussels.

Our flight plan was similar to the one in 2017, with take-off at 15.15 local time and departing for Wavre, Rixensart, Tubize. Lembeek and Saintes. After a holding in the vicinity of Ninove, bound for Zottegem and after a right turn, heading towards Ghent. Once at Merelbeke, inbound to Brussels having rejoined the helicopters flying out of Koksijde. Crossing the highway E40 at Ternat, the doors were closed, to be ready for the pass overhead the Royal Palace.
The pass being brief, we left the capital city back to Beauvechain. As most of the other aircraft of the fly pass also made a fly by overhead Beauvechain airbase, we had to hold a little, allowing us to admire to landscapes and spot known places. Then it was our turn to make our pass overhead the home base, in formation with the Agusta A109. A last peek over the village of Beauvechain and after about two hours, RN07 landed, mission accomplished.
Setting up such a fly pass is not an easy task and the coordination between each asset needs to be perfect. We can only highlight once again, the professionalism of all the participants, being it in the air or on the ground.
Besides the festive part, this fly pass also emphasizes the knowhow of our Air Force, which carries proudly the Belgian colours beyond our borders, of which the RN07 still wears the stigma and residual laterite of its recent mission in Mali, within the frame of MINUSMA 
(see our report Destination Mali:
http://www.sbap.be/events/2018/002mali2018/002mali2018.htm)

Through these few lines, SBAP wishes to thank warmly Colonel Jo Heylens, Cpt K. Verwilligen and Adj Chef P. Van Huyck for granting us this flight and the support for our report. Thanks also to our crew for this very pleasant flight and the photographic opportunities on board. Our thanks are going also to the authorities of the airbases of Florennes and Beauvechain for the facilities during their respective family day.

 
 The 2018 Fly Pass scheme (ComOpsAir IPR)
 
  Beauvechain Airbase 
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 The last National Day for the still friky A-Jets
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
(Serge Van Heertumİ)  (Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Some entertainment for the families
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Kris and his Spitfire LF Mk XVI
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 A109 Solo Display preparing for a demo
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
The "Red Devils"...Those who fly  ;-)
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Hello "Papy"
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 (Serge Van Heertumİ) (Serge Van Heertumİ)
 
  Heading Royal Palace Brussels... 
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
(Serge Van Heertumİ) Our crew of the day
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 (Serge Van Heertumİ) (Serge Van Heertumİ)
 (Serge Van Heertumİ) Safety first...
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 All is ok, the spare remain on the base
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Nothern area with the French Xingu from Avord
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 A109 departure...
(Anthony Graulusİ)
...followed by the NH90 TTH
(Anthony Graulusİ)
 B28 area with the A-Jets parking
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
SF.260's and the Xingu lined up before take off
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 French Air Force Embraer 121 Xingu
(Anthony Graulusİ)
Time for the Alpha Jet to take off
(Anthony Graulusİ)
 The AT-29 still wear a part of the special 2014 paint
(Anthony Graulusİ)
AT-33 with the special French SPA 73 & SPA 78 tail
(Anthony Graulusİ)
 Cultures and their geometric shapes
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Like in a toy store
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 A lot of new construction in the region of Wavre
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Wastewater treatment plant of Basse Wavre
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 E411 Highway
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Genval railway station
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Like magic the Argenteuil Royal Castle comes out of the forest
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
The forest in all its summer splendor
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 An old mill on the border between Lembeek and Saintes
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
The porphyry mine of Petit-Enghien
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 One of our loadmaster
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Join up with the Agusta A109
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Right turn heading Ninove
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 That the earth is so beautiful from the sky!
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Shadow and earth
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Still some relicates of the mission in Mali
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 The Dender river
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Holding around Ninove and the abbey church
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Professionalism does not prevent humor ... (Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Join up with the coastal colleagues
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
The Alouette III as number 4 of the box
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Position number 2 for the NH90 NFH
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Navigation towards Brussels now...
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Last lead for the venerable Westland Seaking Mk 48
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Doors closed, verithing must be perfect for the fly pass
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Entering Brussels with Molenbeek cemetery, the Koekelberg Basilica and the famous Atomnium monument  (Serge Van Heertumİ) The Tours and Taxi hall with the Laeken Royal Church in the background
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 The Seaking above Brussels Inno Shopping and City 2
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
The administrative city and the top of the Congress column
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 The Royal Opera of the Mint (La Monnaie)
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries roof
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 The Saint Michel and Gudule cathedral
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
The Royal street and the troops parade
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 The Park Theater, the Parliament and the famous "16 rue de la Loi"
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
The inner ring of Brussels (La petite ceinture)
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Above the the Royal Military School and the RTBF tower in the back
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Out of Brussels, the ancient and the new one left us to go back to the coast
(Serge Van Heertumİ)

 Belgian Televison Broadcast Transmiter Wavre area
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Above: Huldenberg VOR (VHF Omnidirectional Range)
Below: Hamme Mille village
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Alpha Jets are back to Beauvechain  (Anthony Graulusİ)
 Followed by the Siai Marchetti SF.260...
(Anthony Graulusİ)
...and the Agusta - NH90 box
(Anthony Graulusİ)
 In formation for the fly by above the base  (Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Xingu back to the parking
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Alpha Jet are back to the parking and the SF.260's are taxiing 
to the 5th Sqn parking  (Serge Van Heertumİ)
 A pass above Beauvechain village
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Some are still working on the National Day
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 EBBE tower an important link on this parade day
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
In a corner of the base the CH-08 being dismantled
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Mission accomplished for the SF.260's
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Crossing the 04L / 22R
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 Taxi to the Agusta area
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
Mission is over for the RN-07
(Serge Van Heertumİ)
 
   Florennes Airbase 
(Philippe Decockİ)
 The 2 Wing Tac F-16's are ready for the mission of the day
(Jacques Vincentİ)
Taxi to the runway 26R
(Jacques Vincentİ)
 Vigilance is required
(Jacques Vincentİ)
(Philippe Decockİ)
 (Jacques Vincentİ) A 1st Squadron pilot
(Jacques Vincentİ)
 And here we go...
(Philippe Decockİ)
the FA-130 full AB
(Jacques Vincentİ)
 Followed by the FA-72
(Philippe Decockİ)
The FA-84
(Philippe Decockİ)
 FA-68
(Philippe Decockİ)
and FA-92
(Philippe Decockİ)
 A surprise for our King Philippe...
(DR via D. Eusicom)
...5 years of reign
(DR via D. Eusicom)
 During the fly pass in Brussels the F-16 Solo Display performed for families
(Jacques Vincentİ)
(Jacques Vincentİ)

 Dark Falcon...
(Jacques Vincentİ)
...and "Vador" in action
(Jacques Vincentİ)
 Back to the parking after a wonderful display
(Jacques Vincentİ)
(Philippe Decockİ)
 Back from Brussels...
(Jacques Vincentİ)
(Jacques Vincentİ)
(Jacques Vincentİ) (Philippe Decockİ)
 Mission accomplished for the 2 Wing Tac also...
(Philippe Decockİ)
...and not only pilot were involved in the success of the day!
(Jacques Vincentİ)
 
 Long live Belgium and long live the King ! 

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