Bye bye "Mitch"...Welcome "Grat"...

Text & Pictures : Danny Carels sbap 2011



The weather forecast were not looking good for Saturday so I decided to stop on my way to Leeuwaarden in Lelystad to visit first the aviodrome there.

Since the program of Leeuwaarden starts already in the morning, I missed already the major part of the flying display upon my arrival just in the afternoon. The Red Arrows were doing there display while I was trying to find parking space.

Looking at the flight-program, I missed quit a lot already like our own Red Devils, Patrouille de France, Royal Jordanian Falcons, P-3C Orion from the German Air force but there was still plenty to see still in the afternoon.

After a long walk arriving at the field, there was a fly-by of a Three-ship F-16 formation with the two F-16 demo-teams; the Dutch F-16 and our own Mitch and the second belgian F-16 present at Leeuwarden as replacement plane in case of "Vortex" failure..

I would get to see those three F-16's demos (KLU - BAF - Turkish Air Force) in full action later on.

From the Belgian Air force, I missed the Red Devils but I got to see besides Mitch also the A-109 (H27) demo and the Sea King (RS04) SAR demo. Always nice to see our Sea King in action still. Not long before it will be replaced now by the NH90.

Two more unusual demos for me where definitely the Finish F-18 and the Polish MIG-29. I dont get to see them very often so it was nice seeing them in action.

The Finish F/A-18C from 31 Fighter Squadron based at Rissala Air force base gave a nice display also using its demo-flares which provides nice visual effects.

The Mig-29A Fulcrum is based at the Polish Airbase Minsk Mazowiecki with the 1st Air Tactical Squadron. The MIG doesnt need a lot of smoke pods since it typically leaves behind some black smoke anyway. We have to enjoy seeing the Mig-29 as well in action since it will not be long before it will be retired as well.

The Typhoon could not be forgotten of course and this one was presented by the 311 Gruppo Reparto Sperimentale Volo of the Italian Air force based at Airbase
Pratica di Mare. Not seen many on air shows in our area and the pilot Major Raffaele Beltrame gave insight in the manoeuvrability of this jet.

The highlight of the show although missed a great part of it was definitely the 6-ship formation of Hunters.  

The 6-ship was formed by a 4-ship of Team Viper and a 2-ship for the Dutch Hawker Hunter Association. They fly a Hunter T.8C N-321 and a Hunter F.6A N-294.

Team Viper is based in the UK and is flying a Hunter T.7 WV372, Hunter GA.11 XE685, Hunter PR.11 XG194 and a Hunter T.7 G-VETA.

The Hawker Hunter has this typical sound which is called the Blue Note.

Although it was only a short afternoon at Leeuwarden, I was happy making the trip and seeing some unusual things anyhow.
e will have to wait till 2013 for a next air show in the Netherlands organized by the Royal Dutch Air Force.

Fly-by of a Three-ship F-16 formation Texan T-6 "Harvard", a training aircraft full of worldwide history
Finish F/A-18C from 31 Fighter Squadron Vortex...
Flares... and again vortex...Powerfull demonstration !
What a firework ! A last roll
At landing Usualy based at Rissala Air force base
Belgian Air Force Agusta A-109 display... ...and his brother of arm the Seaking Mk 48
The power of third generation jet aircraft Hight speed turn
Major Raffaele Beltrame at command Eurofighter Typhoon from 311 Gruppo Reparto Sperimentale Volo
Hunter T.7  "G-VETA" & Hunter T.7 "WV372" Viper team and Dutch Hawker Hunter Association toegether
Hunter PR.11"XG194" Hunter GA.11 "XE685"
Our national F-16 glory..."Mitch" "Vortex" in action
Low low speed and the flares as final of the presentation
Mig 29A "Fulcrum" display presented by the Polish Air Force Always appreciated kniffe edge pass
Coming from the 1st Air Tactical Squadron It will not be long before it will be retired
"Soloturk" F-16C display Both with the spare aircraft taking off for Kleine Brogel
The well known orange KLU F-16A:M display High rate of climb
Low speed, full down pass Kniffe edge pass, the best way to look at the back

And the national colours drag chute

Flares firework!  
The Red Arrows going back to the UK AH-64D "Apache", the amazing KLU display
C-160 Transall Turkish Air Force display support aircraft  
Douglas DC-2 "Uiver" Dornier DO228-212 from Netherland coast guard

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