Koksijde 2017

Koksijde : January

On the first flying day of the year, two Kleine Brogel based F-16's came for a formation approach in some nice winter light. On the 4th, the awesome tiger painted F-16 and a double seater F-16 flew over en-route to the UK. They landed at RAF Valley and before returning back to Belgium they passed through the famous "Mach-loop" which resulted in very nice pictures. This was one of the last flights of this nicely painted F-16 before being repainted in SABCA after some modifications. On the 17th during the afternoon and in the evening, two 18 Sqn NH-90MTH came to Koksijde with several crews for cargosling training. On the 24th three RAF Chinooks flew over Koksijde on their way to Groningen. There they made a fuelstop and they continued their journey to Norway for their winter training. On the 30th a Dutch PC-7 based at Woensdrecht made two IFR approaches, unfortunately during very dull weather conditions. Thanks for the friendly wave of the instructor.

Koksijde : February

On the 13th a C-130 made four IFR approaches in perfect weather conditions after a test flight. The next day two A.109 helicopters from Beauvechain did a local night flight and left for their home base again after taking some fuel. A third one made a fuel stop during daylight. The 15th was another day with some action: an A.109 paid a visit to Koksijde, but this time just for a quick stop. Two Kleine Brogel F-16's made a VFR approach on RWY11 in excellent weather conditions which resulted in very nice pictures. Later that day a Marchetti made a full stop and taxied back to the runway via the taxiway close to the aero club. On the 22nd a Woensdrecht based Royal Netherlands Air Force PC-7 made a fuel stop during a training flight.

Koksijde : March

On the first day of the month, four Royal Navy Wildcat HMA.2 made a fuel stop at Koksijde on their way back to their home base in Yeovilton (UK) from winter training in Norway. The Wildcat is the successor of the Lynx which served the Royal Navy and Army for many years. This was the first time these new helicopters visited Koksijde. On the 7th three RAF Chinooks, based at Odiham, passed over Koksijde on their way back from Norway from their winter training. They passed over Koksijde on their way to Norway on the 24th of January. On the 9th and 21st one MD520N from the Federal Police helicopter support unit used BKOKS for some basic training exercises. It was very nice to see another type of helicopter using our base for training. They came back on several other days later this month for fuel stops during surveillance flights over several bicycle races in the neighborhood. The same day the Cessna from the Federal Police came for a visit and one A.109 made a local flight out of Koksijde. On the 20th the fourth and last NH-90NFH was being delivered from the Airbus helicopter factory in Donauworth. On the 22nd and 24th ST46 visited Koksijde and is painted now in the new grey. So another marchetti that lost its yellow jacket. On the 23rd a French Alpha Jet made an IFR approach on its way from Eindhoven back to Cazaux. On Sunday the 26th, the four Piper PA.28 from the formation team "The Victors" arrived at Koksijde. They made some passes over the bicycle race "4-daagse van De Panne-Koksijde" on the 30th. Also Ecureuil OO-HSK fueled several times while filming the bicycle race.

Koksijde : April and May

April was a very calm month with only a handful of visitors. On the 5th, the Citation of the Dutch Aerospace and Aeronautics Centre came in for a night stop to calibrate the PAR the next day. For the rest of the month only some crossers and some marchetti's came to Koksijde for practice approaches. The month of May was luckily a bit busier then April. On the 3rd four B-Hunter UAV aircraft from 80 Sqn UAV based at Florennes, arrived for a two month deployment. On the 9th and 17th a Dutch PC-7 from 131 Sqn EMVO at Woensdrecht came for an IFR practice approach. On the 9th four Royal Danish Air Force Fennics flew along the coastline from Ostend direction France. On the 29th there was a fire in the dunes of De Panne and because the firefighters could not reach the spot with their trucks, the MD902 from the Federal Police support unit was called to stop the fire with their bambi bucket. They filled up their bucket at the "3 vijvers" in Adinkerke, and came in for fuel after the job was finished. On the 30th three French Air Force Alpha jets made an IFR approach on their way to Beauvechain. On the 29th the helicopter exercise THPU (Tactical Helicopter Procedures Unit) started at Beauvechain and lasts until the 9th of June. Participants are two Czech Mi-35 Hinds and one Mi-17 Hip and two French pumas and two gazelles. On the 31st a Mi-35 guided by an A.109 passed over Veurne and De Panne and left via the coastline back to Beauvechain.

Arrival NH-90NFH RN04

On the 20th of March, the fourth and last NH-90NFH arrived at Koksijde after a 3hr flight from the Airbus Helicopter facilities at Donauworth in Germany. The helicopter was already officially being handed over to the Belgian Air Force in 2016, but an upgrade to the radar system of the helicopter delayed its delivery with 18 months. This is the first of the four helicopters that has a fully capable radar system. The other three helicopters will have to go back to the Airbus Helicopter facilities to undergo a 600hrs inspection and the radar upgrade.