Wings Parade

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40 Years SF260 Marchetti in Belgian Service

 This page is a collaboration of S.B.A.P. and BAHA

Text and pictures : Marc Arys, Serge Van Heertum and Daniel Brackx (air to air and formation pilots)

 

On Tuesday March 03, 2009, the  airbase of Beauvechain was home to the graduation ceremony of six new Belgian military pilots.

Some aircrafts of the Belgian Air Component where visible for the invited personalities and family members of the graduated pilots.

The freshly graduated pilots at the end of their advanced training received their wings from Lt. Gen. Avi. Gerard Van Caelenberge, Commander of the Belgian Air Component. These six pilots were streamed as follows :

- 4 fighter pilots : Capt. Avi. Kevin Boudiaudhy, Lt. Avi. Laurent David, Lt. Avi. Raphaël Behets-Wydemans and Lt. Avi. Kristof Heffinck

- 1 transport pilot : Capt. Avi. Jean-François Beguin

- 1 helicopter pilot : Capt. Avi. François Warnant

The will join their operational squadrons and receive their further operational conversion.

   
   
   
The wings ceremony with the presence of MOD Mister Pieter De Crem

Together with the Wings Parade, Beauvechain airbase was also home to the official opening of the celebration year of 40 years SF 260 Marchetti and 300.000 flight hours in Belgian service. This 300.000th hour was flown on Monday, March 02, 2009 by Cdt. Avi. 'Papy' Colard.

Cdt Avi "Papy" Collard atempt 300.000 "Marchetti" flight hours
   
   
The "Marchetti year" was launched with the presenation of ST40 in the aniversary colors

The SF260M Marchetti began its career with the Belgian Air Force 40 years ago with delivery at Goetsenhoven in 1969 as replacement for the aging SV 4 and flying the trainees through their initial training with the 5 Squadron. 1992 saw the acquisition of 9 SF260D, equipped for instrument flying. Within the scope of the modernisation program, all aircarft are being brought up to the M+ standard from 2005 on.
This aircraft, with yet some years to come, flew 300.000 hours during its career with the Belgian Air Component (former Air Force) and to celebrate this event the aircraft SF260D - ST 40, was adorned with a special paint scheme. The aircraft was revealed to the public by Pieter De Crem, Minister of Defence and Lt. Gen Avi. Gerard Van Caelenberge.

   
  Above Gembloux
   
Amazing formation  
   
   
   
The special formations "40" years,  "9" for the 9 squaron and the "5" for the 5 squadron
   
All the "Marchetti" pilots

Completing this celebration and following the fly past of one Seaking, 4 A-109 Agusta, 1 Alouette II, 1 Embraer ERJ145, 1 Alpha Jet and 4 F-16, 20 Marchetti's forming the number '40' flew past the ceremony followed by a pass forming respectively number '9' and number '5' referring to the 9 and 5 Squadron.

A last picture from the graduates, MoD Pieter De Crem, Lt. Gen. Avi. Gerard Van Caelenberge and Colonel Patrice Laurent .

Regarding the anniversary celebration of the Marchetti in Belgian service, The S.B.A.P.-team is proud to announce they are currently writing a new book on this subject with release due in July 2009. This book will have the same content, lay-out and finish as their book on the Fouga Magister. More information will follow on these pages soon !

Text and pictures : Marc Arys, Serge Van Heertum and Daniel Brackx (air to air and formation pilots)

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