Text & Pictures : Marc Arys - SBAP      


During the EU-summit on March 28, 2011, in Liège a slow flying aircraft was detected flying towards the prohibited area. As there was no radio contact with any of the aerial controllers, two SF.260 Marchetti’s from Beauvechain airbase were dispatched to intercept the intruder, which turned out to be a civilian Cessna 182.

Visual contact was made but the pilot of Cessna refused to comply or respond to the given instructions so two Agusta A-109 were scrambled to go, if neccessary, for an armed intervention.

When the A109 arrived at the scene, the target was handed over from the SF.260 to the helicopters. These latters again tried to establish contact with the intruder, through radiocommunication means and even with instruction boards. Still the pilot of the Cessna remained non compliant.

A warning burst with guns was made followed by a warning burst with flares, what finally convinced the intruder to comply. The Cessna was then escorted back to Beauvechain airbase by the A109 and SF.206 for a thorough check.


Luckily this was only an exercice, set up to train intercepts with SF.260 and A109 as well as to perform handover of a target between the particpating aircraft. As to optimise this training mission, various scenario’s were flown on the same day.

The SF.260 were provided by the 5 Sqn, A109 by the 18 Sqn MRH both of Beauvechain airbase and the intruding Cessna 182 by the Air Support Unit of the Belgian Federal Police.

The slow flying aircraft was intercepted by a pair of SF.260 without compliancy.
The SF.260 are backed up by armed Agusta A109.
As there is no radio contact with the intruder, the gunner sits ready for any needed intervention, including firing at the intruder if necessary.

The second Agusta A109 still tries to establish contact through instruction boards : “Contact 121.5 Mhz” and afterwards “Turn left”.

The intruder, a Cessna 182, escorted to the nearest military airbase.

Instructions are clearly visible and are to be complied to.

The interceptors in formation

The intruder ! (Serge Van Heertum)


Back    -    Home