Koksijde : January and FebruaryAs of the beginning of the year, the Danish Air Force CL-604 based at Lille-Lesquin airport in Northern France, was swapped with a French Customs Beech 350 to fly the Frontex surveillance missions along the French-Belgian shoreline. On the 5th an Irish Air Corps AW139 277 flew over to Liege to undergo deep maintenance at the Leonardo facilities. Along the usual Marchetti and F-16 training approaches some A.109's came in for fuel stops during the month. The first international visitor of the new year was a Royal Netherlands Air Force Cougar helicopter based at Gilze Rijen.
On the 5th of February the French Customs Beech 350 was swapped with a brand new Italian Customs P-72B to fly the Frontex surveillance missions. On the 10th two Royal Netherlands Air Force PC-7's came to Koksijde for some training IFR approaches. On the 23rd six British Helicopters crossed overhead to Eindhoven to take some fuel on their way to the east. Both formations consisted out of one Royal Air Force Chinook and two Army Air Corps Apache helicopters. The first formation even made a low pass along the tower which was very impressive to see.
Koksijde : MarchBesides the usual Marchetti and F-16 training approaches, some foreign helicopters passed overhead Koksijde this month. On the 10th a formation of four Army Air Corps Wildcat helicopters passed along the coastline to Gilze Rijen for a fuel stop on their way further eastbound. The next day all but one British helicopters that passed over Koksijde on the 23rd of February, crossed again on their way to the United Kingdom. The tower requested all the helicopters to make a low pass and but only two apaches made a detour to make a low pass overhead RWY11. The second formation only crossed overhead at 1000 feet. The second Chinook went straight over sea from the Netherlands to the UK without following the coastline. On the 16th A-400M CT-03 made three low approaches on RWY11 which was an impressive sight. On the 17th two NH-90TTH from the 18th Sqn MRH in Beauvechain made a low approach on their way to Le Touquet in France, and did the same on their way back. On the 22nd NH-90TTH RN-08 made a low approach on its way to Lombardsijde for some firing exercises. From Monday 28th of March till Friday 8th April some panther crashtenders were transferred to Koksijde to allow A-400M training and on the second day CT-04 came to make two touch and go's. On the 30th the 350 Sqn special tail F-16 made one low approach on RWY11.
Koksijde : April and MayOn the 5th of April, a Royal Netherlands Air Force PC-7 based at Woensdrecht made two IFR approaches. The Dutch PC-7's cross the border more and more to use Koksijde for their training approaches, which is something we like very much. On the 12th three F-16 from Kleine Brogel AFB came to make a base attack which is always spectacular to see and hear. On the 20th Police helicopter G-17 landed to pick up someone and refueled after its mission before returning back to Melsbroek. On the 27th the beautifully painted X-tiger F-16 made one low approach. The same day AW139 277 from the Irish Air Corps passed overhead on its way back home after maintenance in Liege.
On the 10th citation PH-LAB came to calibrate the navigation aids of the base again. On the 12th a Dutch PC-7 visited our base again for two training approaches. On the 16th Dauphin OO-NHV from Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen made a fuelstop during a joint SAR exercise together with the Belgian NH-90's. On the 30th F-16AM FA-116 passed overhead on its way to Ostend to make a precautionary landing after a bird strike near Le Touquet. One week later a team from Kleine Brogel went to Ostend to make a temporary repair to ferry back the F-16 to Kleine Brogel.
Koksijde : JuneOn the 2nd the X-tiger F-16 visited Koksijde again. This time in clean configuration and on RWY11. Earlier that day FB-17 also made two approaches on RWY11. On the 8th two RAF Puma's based at RAF Benson passed overhead on their way to the east for a deployment. On the 10th a third Puma flew overhead following the same route. On the 14th A-400M CT-05 visited our base for the first time with two low approaches. On the 17th she came back, this time to make eight stop and goes. On the 20th one RAF Chinook based at RAF Odiham passed overhead on its way to Berlin for the ILA airshow. On the 27th a French customs H135 helicopter arrived for a deployment till the 30th. The helicopter did some flights along the Belgian coastline and exercises at the port of Zeebrugge.