Follow the leader !
confirmation from the General Staff and the Public Relation service of the
Belgian Air Component in particular, we can announce the creation of a new
formation on the SIAI Marchetti SF260. Indeed, since several weeks, the
new team is preparing and organising the formations flight, they will present during various
airshows and aerial manifestations in Belgium as well as through Europe. They
will perform a.o. at the Air Days at Koksijde and of course during the Open Door
in July 2009 at their Beauveachain homebase, regarding the 40 years of dedicated
service and 300.000 hours flown with Air Component.
After the success in 2008 with a 4 ship team, the authorities agreed to officialise the new team for 2009. Again with 4 aircraft, the team was named 'Hardship Red' originating from the call sign used by the Marchetti for training flights at Beauvechain.
12 years after the 'Swallows' folded their wings, this new enterprise will undoubtedly bring a renewal which will certainly be received with enthousiasm by the public.
Although 'Hardship Red' will not be an aerobatic team like the Swallows, but rather be a team, demonstrating the maestria in formation flying of the pilots.
The 2009 team is formed by 5 pilots, each one being an instructor pilot within the 5 Squadron.
'Hardship Red' is led by Maj Avi Jean-François "Jief" Balon, n° 2 CDt Avi Alain "Papy" Collard, n° 3 Nicolas "Choco" Delfosse and n° 4 Kapt Vl Kristof "Cloety" Cloetens. The 5th teammember, acting as a spare, is Cdt Avi Christophe "Tcholle" Deroubaix.
As to mark the officialization of the team, a badge was created and, not without some pride can we announce that S.B.A.P., together with the pilots of the team, participated in the creation and elaboration of this badge .
The badge depicts a stylized egyptian falcon, emblem of the 5 Squadron, with the head leading into a spinner of a SF260. A central circle represents the formation of 4 Marchetti in the colors of the squadron - Red and White.
At this moment the team is perfecting their in-flight presentation and their acceptation flight for the authorities and aerial safety department. This latter flight is awaited at the beginning of May 2009.
So rendez-vous is given to admire the team during their various shows and we wish these 5 pilots good flight and always safe landings !!
Text and pictures : Marc Arys & Serge Van Heertum - S.B.A.P.
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