Koksijde 2013

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 gathered photographers.

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 as well.

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.

Seaking Spiegelmeer

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.

Crazy Trip

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.

Runway Run

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 upon arrival.

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.