Text & Pictures: Serge Van Heertum - Translations: Marc Arys  ©sbap 2021
 
Covid year two...airshows and other aviation events are still at a standstill.
Apart from that everything is fine, the bubble is...I don't know how many, but the terraces are open and family reunions can take place but with a maximum of... I don't know how many, but only in the garden of the virologists... ah, oops... no my name is not Jürgen...damn.
In short, the bullshit goes on, and in Belgium, I think we've got it covered...
All this to say that we miss the smell of kerosene, that the din of jet engines is sorely lacked and the sight of arrow-fast planes has become as rare commodity as sugar during the occupation by the Germanic neighbours (don't worry, we've got our foot in the door for the third one in the making...).

So to make up for this lack, one of the solutions is to go around the bases of Belgium and to immortalize some aircraft (that we have already photographed dozens of times, but you never know...).
Firmly decided while the weather is good, it is towards Florennes that the objectives were turned with the aim (let's be frank) was to see and immortalize the Lockheed Martin F-16AM FA-87 specially decorated to celebrate the three-quarter of a century of this Air Force that we love and support, since 50 years as far as I'm concerned (whatever some people may think or say against me...).
The first day of hunting was somewhat disappointing with only one F-16AM on mission and that between 8.00 and 15.00 hours. The afternoon was a bit more dynamic with the appearance of FA-57 still wearing the invasion stripes commemorating the anniversary of the D-Day landings but no longer with the tail design. It must be admitted that it had kept a certain cachet, even a little more "warlike" without this fresco.

The second attempt was more successful because more planes were on missions and the famous commemorative FA-87 was part of it. I would like to thank the pilot of the morning mission for the different passes and especially for the taxi to the end of the runway to discover the two sides of the jubilee aircraft. Well, the discovery was frankly disappointing. The decoration is somewhat meagre, lacks character, in a word to celebrate the 75 years of existence of what was a jewel of the Belgian post-war military landscape, one could expect much better, much more festive, and then, especially, not to put stickers on an aircraft having a paint largely faded by the hours of flights. In short, we are far, very far from the shimmering decorations worn by the F-16's in the past or the commemorative liveries of our French neighbours, who have in their genes the words "tradition and history" with regard to squadrons and other units.
We have seen FA-87, yes, but not to have pictured it would have been a historical mistake for future generations, but our Air Force to us taxpayers would have deserved better.
I will close the 75 years BAF parenthesis by simply saying that seeing some of our fighters and other training aircraft in action was a real pleasure and that we should not hesitate to play with the shutters to bring back some action pictures to our readers.
As the holidays are approaching and as in the good old days of my youth, we used to communicate with our loved ones back home through postcards, here are a few for you!

 
Rosenbauer Panther F12 ready for stand by in case of
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Same status for the Rosenbauer Panther F07
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Rescue team preparing for the duty of the day
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Even on military bases we think of ecologists :-)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Heavy works somewhere on the base?
(Serge Van Heertum©)
No no, this is not the new motorization of the tracma
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Forward for a day's work in the burrows
(Serge Van Heertum©)
New stele to highlight the collaboration with sports aviation. The hardest part is keeping the plane in balance just on the nose wheel
(Serge Van Heertum©)
First touch and go of the day operated by FA-84
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Another one for the same plane
(Serge Van Heertum©)
And a last approach before landing
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Mission accomplished for FA-84 the only F-16 flying before noon on this day
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Some circuits for this Piper L-18C Super Cub of the RBDA (Royal Belgian Defense Aeroclub)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
A couple of approaches for this Siai Marchetti SF.260M+
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Missions of the afternoon are launched
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Taxi to the holding point
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Full Afterburner for FA-84 again
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-94 executed a back track before alignment
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Here we go!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Some go around for FA-57 with the Invasion Stripes. The tail drawings are gone!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Go around also for FA-81
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Another splendid pass of FA-57
(Serge Van Heertum©)
And the landing
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Few seconds before the touch
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-81 at landing
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Same for FA-94
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-84 also in final
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Last landing of the day
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Another day dawned on the Ardennes base
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-129 at take off
(Serge Van Heertum©)
No longer young, but still power under the belly
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-97 on take off
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Followed by FA-87 wearing the logo of the 75 years of the Belgian Air Force
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-72 with a decored fuel tank
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-94 also departing for a morning mission
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The two-seatter FB-22 on take off
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Two birds of prey in the sky of Florennes (Photoshop work)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Face to face with FA-72
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The paint of the fuel tank is a remnant of FA-70 which had been decorated for the 75th anniversary of the 349 squadron in 2017 (Kleine Brogel)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
A circuit for Siai Marchetti SF.260D ST-47
(Serge Van Heertum©)
High speed pass for FA-94, a perfect profile view
(Serge Van Heertum©)
And pull up!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
High turn... Note the structural differences between left and right underwing surfaces
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Another go around
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Also an high speed pass for FA-87
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FB-22 in the circuit
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-87 landed. For me this decoration for a 75th anniversary of the Air Force is little bit poor and disappointing.
It could be a full aircraft painting or eventually a plane just coming from maintenance with a fresh grey paint.
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Face of FA-87
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Taxi back to the shelter
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The left hand side of the Jubilee aircraft
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Agusta A109BA passing over EBFS runway
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Kleine Brogel visitor's. Here FB-24 decorated for the 30 year OCU in 2017
(Serge Van Heertum©)
And FB-23 also coming from Kleine Brogel for a go around 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
ST-48 this time for an approach
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Afternoon missions are launched, FA-94 first
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Followed by FA-129
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-91 also at take off
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Piper L-21B Super Cub LB-01 from the Royal Air Cadets making a training sortie
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Landing on the secondary runway
(Serge Van Heertum©)
  Also a local flight for LB-02
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Uh ... they will fly less well, eh
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Back from mission and tactical break
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-87 "75 years BAF" at landing
(Serge Van Heertum©)
No more mission for her today
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-84 overshoot
(Serge Van Heertum©)
"Dove" leader to wingman...follow me !
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Last approach for FA-94
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Landing, mission accomplished
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Some go aound for FA-129 with a kind of Afghanistan mountains in the backgroud
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Some circuit on the 08R (the short parallel runway)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
One more approach for FA-129
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Break
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-130 in clear configuration coming back from maintenance aligned on the 08L
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Other circuit for FA-130 on the RWY 08R this time
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Go around
(Serge Van Heertum©)
FA-129 at landing
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Landing of FA-130
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The underside of the "market of the century" ... lol
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The last of the day, FA-91 aligned on the 08R
(Serge Van Heertum©)
A nice round
(Serge Van Heertum©)
and...touch and go for a last circuit
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Aligned 08R again
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Underside view
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Airbakes and full flaps
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Missions accomplished, flying day is over
(Serge Van Heertum©) 
 

Reports Menu - Homepage