Koksijde : January
Traditionally at the beginning of the new year, some F-16's are coming
to Koksijde to make some approaches. On the 27th of January one of the
MD900 helicopters of the Police Air Support Unit refuelled at Koksijde
and the friendly crew showed off their nice helicopter at the end of
the runway for the many photographers at the fence.
Koksijde : February
On the 7th of February, 3 Royal Navy Sea King HC.4 were planned to
make a fuel stop at Koksijde en-route to their home base Yeovilton.
Weather forced them to change their route and they made a fuel stop
at Charleroi instead. Luckily the crew made a nice low pass over the
runway on the towers request.
Koksijde : March
On the first of March 5 French Air Force Alpha jet's based at Tours
made an instrument approach. If this wasn't enough 2 Danish Air Force
Merlin helicopters made a low pass over RWY11 en-route from Benson in
the UK to Gilze Rijen in The Netherlands. On the 7th of March, a NATO
E-3A AWACS flew over Koksijde at 1500ft to Ostend where it made some
approaches. One of the pilots which was connected with the region, made
its last flight.
Koksijde : April
In April, four B-Hunter UAV's came to Koksijde for a deployment of
10 weeks. They mostly flew missions over sea for pollution control.
On the 8th of April 4 Netherlands Air Force Apaches flew over Koksijde
towards Carlisle for an exercise. They came back on the 26th and even
one made a low approach.
Koksijde : May
On the 15th of May three British Apaches and one Chinook refuelled
at Koksijde en-route to Gütersloh in Germany for an exercise. It
was the second time ever a British Apache touched the ground at Koksijde.
As this wasn't special enough, they all used the S3 taxiway to RWY11,
so they came very close to the fence, which was very exciting for the
Koksijde : June
On the 4th of June the three British Apaches and one Chinook returned
to the UK via Koksijde again! Some photographers were present again
at the fence, and the 4-ship helicopter formation taxied again via the
taxiway near the aero club!!! On the 7th of June, seven US Army Blackhawk
helicopters passed overhead en-route to Ireland for the G8 Summit. They
returned to Germany on 21 June, what a sight!
Koksijde : July
The 2nd of July brought us 4 British Lynx AH.7's that made a fuel stop
during a navigation training flight to Germany. They refuelled 2 days
later back to the UK. On the 17th of July we got a German Navy Seaking
for a fuel stop en-route to RIAT in Fairford. The same day, the Aviation
Photocrew did a photo flight with the Breitling Super Constellation
and they flew along the coastline at low altitude from Nieuwpoort to
De Panne. What a beautiful sight to see this classic airliner at low
altitude. On the Belgian National Day, a Netherlands Air Force NH-90NFH
with a Belgian instructor pilot on board, landed at Koksijde before
heading to Brussels for the defilé. On the 29th of July the Netherlands
Air Force Apache in demo colours made a nice low pass over the runway
on its way back from the Sunderland airshow in the UK.
Koksijde : August
In the beginning of August we had another visit of a Netherlands Air
Force NH-90NFH, again with the Belgian IP Jo "Bal" Balcaen.
Twice this month 4 F-16's based at Kleine Brogel came to Koksijde to
practice base attacks. This is always a great spectacle.
Koksijde : September
Later that month, the 15th Wing at Melsbroek organised an open-door.
For the event formation flying was shown to the public. To practice
formation flying, 2 C-130's flew in formation to Koksijde and each made
an approach. After the approach they nicely banked to the south to continue
their low level navigation exercise in Belgium.
Koksijde : October
On the 18th of October a Diamond DA.42M NG from Cobham Flight Inspection
came to Koksijde to calibrate the TACAN and PAR radar. For the first
time this was being done by a Diamond DA.42M NG instead of the usual
Beech King Air 200. A new kid on the block. A remarkable thing was the
number of approaches of F-16's. In the past months this was really exceptional,
but in October they showed they still knew there is an airbase at Koksijde
Koksijde : November - December
On the 25th of November the first Belgian NH-90MTH came to Koksijde
for some approaches, but unfortunately nobody was able to photograph
this new helicopter. The most special visitor in this period was the
Cessna 182 of the Police Air Support Unit which came in during a training
mission. As this is the only one left flying, the chance you get to
see this little bird is very limited.
On the 14th of January a statue of 8 meters high was placed in the
middle of the lake "Spiegelmeer" in the cityparc of Ostend.
As the statue was too big and too heavy, Belgian defence was asked if
they could help. Hanging the statue as cargo sling under the Sea King
was the best solution. On Friday 11 January a test run was performed.
All this precision work was being watched by the artist Johan Tahon
and a lot of spectators.
1W NATEVALprep 03
From Monday 22 April till Thursday 25 April, six A.109BA from the 1W
Heli based at Beauvechain were deployed again at Koksijde for their
3rd preparation session for the actual NATO Evaluation in June. They
flew day and night mission. On Thursday they left to Beauvechain again
in a nice 6-ship formation.
The "Westhoek", in the exercise a country far away, can't
guarantee the safety of the Belgians living there due to internal conflicts,
and therefore they will be evacuated to their homeland. This is the
scenario of a big military evacuation exercise held in Belgium. For
the evacuation, 3 C-130's were being used to evacuate the people from
Koksijde to Florennes. Between 28 and 30 May, several flights were made
by the C-130's during day and night to evacuate all the people.
Between 24 and 27 June six A.109BA from the 1W Heli based at Beauvechain
were begin evaluated by the NATO. For this they had to deploy to a base
without using its facilities. So they had to operate completely independent.
Rescue excercise Koksijde
Several times per year, all the rescue services at the Belgian coast
exercise together in a large Search and Rescue exercise. Each time the
exercise is held at a different place at the Belgian coast, and this
to practice the communication and collaboration between the different
services. On the 8th of July, the exercise was a ship in front of the
Belgian coast that caught fire and 3 people had to be rescued out of
the sea. The Sea King and MUG-helicopter participated in this exercise.
Opendoor West Aviation Club
Every year the local aero club at Koksijde organises an open-door and
this year it was being held on the 18th of August. For this occasion
some aircraft from other aero clubs come to Koksijde. As they have a
good relationship with the 40th Sqn, a small demonstration was held
with one of the Sea Kings.
On the 28th of August, a running race for charity was being held on
the airbase of Koksijde for the second time. The race is very unique
as part of the trail is on the actual runway! For this occasion they
put some aircraft and helicopters on the runway to entertain the runners.
Last flight RS03
On the 29th of August, Sea King with registration RS03 flew for the
very last time. As the Sea Kings are being replaced by the NH-90NFH
next year, this was the second Sea King that was retired. The other
3 will continue to fly until all NH-90NFH helicopters will be fully
operational. It flew for the first time on 9 April 1976 and had 11.852
hrs on the clock. It flew 614 scrambles in its career. It will be stored
and the spare parts will be used to keep the 3 other Sea Kings flying.
For this occasion a water salute was given by the local Fire department
Sea King - 2013
This is a selection of pictures taken in 2013 of the Sea King MK.48
of the 40th Sqn based at Koksijde. These pictures were made during normal
training missions at Koksijde and surroundings.
Alouette III : 2005 - 2013
This is a selection of pictures taken between 2005 and 2013 of the
Belgian Navy Alouette III helicopters based at Koksijde. All these pictures
were taken during normal training missions at Koksijde and Ostend Airport.