Koksijde 2014

Fly-in Koksijde

The last Koksijde international airshow was organised in 2011 and so it was time for another event at the airbase. The local aero club (West Aviation Club) and the town of Koksijde joined forces and organised the first Koksijde Fly-in on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 August. The 2014 theme was the commemoration of the First World War which started 100 years ago. On Friday evening some hot air balloons lifted off from the airfield and after sunset there was even a nightglow with 5 balloons. About 230 aircraft visited the Fly-in over the weekend and 23.000 people came to have a look at the event. There were some really special aircraft at Koksijde for this first edition, especially the WW1 aircraft which were displayed in the hangar. Other highlights were the Catalina, an AN-2, two T-28 Trojans, an O-2A, two T-6 Harvards, an OV-10 Bronco and a lot of SV-4's, chipmunks and Piper Super Cubs. No event at Koksijde without the local helicopters, and so the first NH-90 was presented to the audience during the Fly-in. The word "Fly-in" says it all: it was no airshow and the only display during the weekend was the Seaking which did a SAR-demo each day in the afternoon. The weather was sunny all weekend with some clouds during the day. Due to the large success of this first edition, the organisation decided to organise another Fly-in, this time over the weekend of 4 and 5 July 2015. For more information, please visit www.flyinkoksijde.be

Koksijde : January

On the first days of the year some F-16's came to Koksijde for some training approaches. It’s always nice to start the year with some jet noise. On the 28th 4 British Lynx AH.7's made a fuel stop at Koksijde en-route to Geilenkirchen in Germany. They did a navigation mission in Germany before they refuelled again at Koksijde on the 30th of January on their way back.

Koksijde : February

One of the 4 British Lynx AH.7's that passed through Koksijde on the 28th of January went sick during their trip in Germany and returned to the UK on the 4th of February. That day 2 Kleine Brogel based F-16's made 3 base attacks runs. Some more passes of F-16's could be seen during the rest of the month.

Koksijde : March

On the second of March, the Wevelgem based OV-10B Bronco of Bronco Demo Team passed over the airfield in formation with a SC-7 Shorts Skyvan for a photo mission. The pictures were used in the team’s promotional leaflets. On the 13th, three Royal Navy Sea King HC.4 based at Yeovilton passed through Koksijde on their way back from their winter training in Norway.

Koksijde : April

On the 2nd of April one of the Beauvechain based NH-90MTH came to Koksijde for winching trainings. As the Koksijde crews are experts in winching’s, Koksijde is the place to be for such trainings. They returned on the 23rd for the second part of their training. On the 22nd 4 B-Hunter UAV's arrived in boxed for a deployment at Koksijde for one month.

Koksijde : May

On the 5th of May MD902 G-11 from the Police Air Support unit was delivered to the paint shop after upgrade from MD900 to MD902. As it was wearing the same paint scheme for already 10 years, it was time for a new coat. On the 13th a Royal Air Force SAR Sea King MK.3 refuelled at Koksijde in the evening during a joint exercise with one of the Koksijde Sea Kings. On the 19th we had a totally grey painted Belgian Marchetti. This is a test paint to make the Marchetti’s look more tactical. On the 20th 2 Royal Air Force Chinooks made a nice low pass over the runway on request of the tower.

Koksijde : June

In June we got quiet some British visitors. On the 23rd a Culdrose based SAR Sea King HU.5 of the Royal Navy refuelled at Koksijde on their way back from the Gilze Rijen airshow. And later that month 3 British Lynx AH.7's and 3 British Squirrel HT.1's came in for fuel as well.

Koksijde : July

On the 9th and 14th of July the superbly looking BO-105P of the German Army refuelled at Koksijde on its way to and from RIAT in Fairford. This BO-105P is wearing this nice scheme to "celebrate" the flyout of "Kampfhubschrauberregiment 26". On Sunday the 13th a Norwegian NH-90 made a night stop at Koksijde during its delivery flight from the factory in Vergiate (Italy). It departed on Monday morning to continue its journey to its future home base in Norway. On the 14th of July MD902 G-11 from the Police Air Support unit was ready for its ferry flight back to Melsbroek after receiving a brand new paint.

Koksijde : August

On 19 June 2012 EC-135P2 270 of the Irish Air Corps was scrambled to collect a patient from a Health Service Executive (HSE) road ambulance near Borrisoleigh, and transfer him to Limerick Regional Hospital for treatment. Upon arrival the helicopter’s main rotor blades struck overhead wires and severed them. This wire impact caused severe airframe vibration and a momentary oscillation of the helicopter, forcing the Pilot to carry out an immediate forced landing, which was heavy. He shut down the engines and the crew exited safely and uninjured. On Wednesday 13th of August the EC-135 made a night stop at Koksijde on its way from the Airbus Helicopters facilities in Donauwörth Germany to its home base Casement Air Base in Ireland after repairs.

Koksijde : September

On the 2nd of September, four Netherlands Air Force PC-7's flew to Koksijde for a night stop. The crews enjoyed a night at the coast and the next morning they left again to Woensdrecht. The Florennes based B-Hunter UAV's returned for a deployment of one month. On the 11th of September a brand new PC-12NG of the Pilatus Company in Switzerland made some approaches at Koksijde. This was a demonstration flight of the company with some Belgian pilots. Later that week the aircraft could be seen on the airshow in Kleine Brogel.

Koksijde : October

On the 23rd of October the Netherlands Air Force SAR helicopter AB.412SP (nickname Tweety) made as small farewell tour. They did an IFR flight from Leeuwarden to Koksijde. After taking fuel they continued to the UK following the Thames to London. Later on they returned to Koksijde for a lunch stop. As the helicopter will be retired from operational service at the end of this year, this will probably be the last time we see "Tweety" at Koksijde unfortunately. On the 28th of October our Belgian King Filip and some other state leaders came to Nieuwpoort and Ieper to commemorate the First World War. For this event 3 A.109's were on QRA stand-by from Koksijde as well as a Federal Police MD902 for air surveillance.

Koksijde : December

In the last month of the year we got some nice visitors at Koksijde. On the 9th four British Army Air Corps Lynx AH.7's based at Middle Wallop refuelled at Koksijde during their navigation trip in Germany. After Koksijde they went to Geilenkirchen. They returned on the 11th back to the UK. During their visit one of the NH-90MTH of Beauvechain also came to Koksijde for cup of coffee in the afternoon. It was very nice to see the visitors apron filled up with 5 helicopters. On the 15th the Royal Netherlands Air Force came to Koksijde for the last time this year, this time with one of their nice but vintage Alouette III helicopters. The helicopter was wearing some special markings for the anniversary of 50 years Alouette III which was celebrated in September.

De Panne : Recordings Ketnet Kingsize

On the 17th of February Sea King RS02 did some winchings on the beach of De Panne. In the program "Ketnet King Size" on the kids channel "Ketnet", actor Niels Destadsbader was waiting on the beach for a child to be winched down by the Sea King. Also Niels was lucky as at the end of the recordings he was winched up as well. It was not easy to take pictures as everyone on the beach was sandblasted by the Sea King. On the Sea King there were some GO Pro cameras mounted and this resulted in some nice footages.

Deployment Royal Navy Lynx HMA.8

From 6 till 9 May, three Royal Navy Lynx HMA.8 helicopters from 702 Sqn based in Yeovilton were deployed at Koksijde for training in the busy shipping lane in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Daily missions were executed. Also ground crews were being trained for deck operations.

Arrival NH-90NFH RN02

Friday the 9th of May was a historical day for the future of Koksijde airbase and the 40th Sqn. NH-90 RN02 was flown over from the Airbus Helicopters facilities in Donauwörth Germany to Koksijde. This was the first NH-90NFH to arrive at its new home base Koksijde. The pilots were Jo "Bal" Balcaen and Tom "Chappy" Capelle. The helicopter with test registration 98+52, was seen flying for the first time only one month before delivery. Upon arrival the helicopter was escorted by a Sea King and after landing it was baptize by the Fire department. A new era has begun!

Removal of the Gate Guards

On Monday the 16th of June Sikorsky HSS-1 B8/OT-ZKH was lifted from its position at the entrance of the casern of Koksijde onto a trailer. On Thursday the 19th of June, the same happened with Hawker Hunter F.4 ID123/7J-P. Both were in a very bad shape due to the aggressive weather conditions at the coast. Specialists will investigate if it will be possible to restore them to preserve them again at Koksijde. We hope that they will return again at the gate in the future...

National Defilé 2014

This year a Belgian Air Force NH-90NFH participated for the first time in the aerial defilé over Brussels. It flew in formation with a Beauvechain based NH-90MTH. Two Alouette III's and a Sea King participated as well and upon arrival all 4 helicopters joined for some formation passes over the airfield. Afterwards the formation joined the coastline and flew till Nieuwpoort so the many tourists could enjoy this nice formation as well. One Sea King remained at Koksijde for SAR duties, while the third one was in maintenance.

Arrival NH-90NFH RN01

On the 31st of July, two days before the first Fly-in at Koksijde, the second NH-90NFH was flown over from the Airbus Helicopters facilities in Marignane, France to Koksijde. RN01 flew for the first time on the 13th of April 2013 with test registration 98+51 from the Airbus Helicopters facilities in Donauwörth Germany. It was being handed over to the Belgian Air Force on the first of August 2013. On the 26th of August 2013 it was flown over from Germany to France where it remained in Marignane for crew training. Just like RN02, the RN01 was escorted by a Sea King and the pilots were Tom "Chappy" Capelle and Karel "Fozzy" Kinalble.

Runway Run

For the third time in a row the Runway Run was being held at Koksijde, this year on the 27th of August. This is a running race for charity, but on a very special location: the runway of an active airfield! To make the race attractive, a C-130, an A.109 Agusta, an Alouette III and a NH-90 was being put on the runway for the participants. The Base CO was winched down out of a Sea King to give the start signal and afterwards the Sea King guided the racers through the circuit. The winners got a flight with the Sea King!

Arrival back from the SAR-meet

The 2014 edition of the SAR-meet exercise was organised by 303 Sqn based at Leeuwarden in The Netherlands. This year the Dutch unit celebrates their 55th anniversary, but unfortunately it will be their last anniversary as the unit will be disbanded on the 31st of December 2014. For this occasion they organised an international SAR-meet from Monday 22 till Friday 26 September. Participants of the exercise were the Netherlands Air Force with an AB.412SP "Tweety", the Netherlands Coastguard with an AS.365N3 Dauphin from NHV, the Netherlands Navy with a NH-90NFH, the Spanish Air Force with a Puma and the Belgian Air Force with a Seaking. Several tests had to be done and the overall winner of the contest was the 40th Sqn at Koksijde!! Upon arrival back in Koksijde, they were welcomed by the rest of the Sqn and the winning team winched down the trophy they took with them. Congratulations to the 40th Sqn!!

Diksmuide - NH-90 landing

In 2012, the French National Navy commissioned a third Projection and Command Vessel for duty. The French government decided to name the ship DIXMUDE, in remembrance of the Navy fusiliers who relentlessly defended the city of Diksmuide in October 1914. From the 10th till the 15th of October the Dixmude (L9015) visited the military seaport of Zeebrugge and during the weekend the crew and high ranking officials participated in ceremonies in Melle Saturday and in Diksmuide on Sunday the 12th of October. To make transport of the people from the seaport to Diksmuide as quickly as possible, they were flown over with an NH-90MTH based at Beauvechain.

Storm Tide 2

From Monday the 17th till Friday the 21st of November exercise "Storm Tide 2" was being held in the Ostend region again, 6 years after the previous edition. Storm Tide 2 is a big evacuation exercise with participation of 2000 military personnel and about 300 civilians. For the exercise, four C-130's were based at Ostend which flew numerous sorties. Two, and from Wednesday on, three A.109's were based in Koksijde and flew some isolated missions in our province. On Monday the four C-130's did five rotations between Koksijde and Ostend to bring all the vehicles and soldiers to Ostend. On Tuesday evening two C-130's landed at Koksijde again to drop some evacuated people.

Arrival NH-90NFH RN03

On the Wednesday the 3rd of December NH-90NFH RN03 was planned to be flown over from the Airbus Helicopters facilities in Donauworth Germany to Koksijde. Bad weather in Germany forced the crew to delay the delivery flight with one day. On Thursday the 4th of December the visibility in Koksijde was only a couple of hundreds of meters but the transfer flight continued with a fuelstop in Beauvechain. RN03 made some test flights in Germany with test registration 98+53. Around 14h00 RN03 touched the ground at Koksijde for the first time with pilots Kristof Geerts and Nick Bernaerts and Flight engineer Rudy Debergh.

Last flight medic

On Friday afternoon the 19th of December one of the medics of the 40th Sqn made its last flight before retirement. As it was excellent weather, Sea King RS05 was flying over the airfield. In front of the hangar, Sea King RS02 was starting up and after take-off, both helicopters came into formation for some nice passes in front of the hangar. After the passes RS02 continued over sea for some sea work and RS05 made a full stop landing. One hour later, RS02 appeared over the airfield again and did a great demonstration during a stunning sunset. After its demo, the medic got the well-known shower from the fire brigade.

Sea King - 2014

This is a selection of pictures taken in 2014 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 - 2014

This is a selection of pictures taken in 2014 of the Belgian Navy Alouette III helicopters based at Koksijde. All these pictures were taken during normal training missions at Koksijde.

NH-90 - 2014

The first three of the four ordered NH-90NFH to be based at Koksijde were delivered in 2014. The first one was delivered in May and in the first months flying was rather limited as only one head Instructor Pilot (IP) had to train two more IP's. At the end of July the second helicopter was delivered and with two helicopters available now flying activity rose. At the end of the year both IP's were trained, so the conversion of the rest of the squadron can begin. In December the third NH-90 was delivered. This is a selection of pictures taken in 2014 during normal training missions at Koksijde.