Koksijde AB (Belgium), the home base of the Sea Kings and Alouette-3's of 40th Smaldeel (Squadron) held its annual open house on 3rd and 4th of July 2004. The weather forecast for the airshow weekend was not so good, with strong winds and some (thunder-)showers. Despite the weather forcecast, the weather was dry on Saturday even with some sun, shining trough the clouds.
The public could enter the airbase and park their car on one of the taxiways after paying an entrance fee of € 5,00 a person. The first part of the static display was parked very badly for the photographers, with the sun facing you and with the fences under the wings of the aircraft. Sometimes the wings were above you, for example with the Belgian Bn-2 Islander. In this line were also two F-16CG's from 510 FS/31 FW Aviano AB, two Portuguese F-16A's, two AMX from 51 St (one with special camo; MM7149), two Tornado Gr.4's from 617 Sqn, a Mirage 2000D from EC 01.003, Jaguar T.4 and Gr.3 and a Hawk T.1A of the RAF, a Belgian Alpha Jet of the 1 Wing, an Atlantic of the French Navy and an English Dominie T.1 from 55 (R) Sqn.
RS05, Sea King
The Danish OH-6 (H205) and Fennec AS-550C2's (P-319 and P-369) had just been transferred from the Army to the Air Force (Esk.724). A French Navy Dauphin AS-365N (91) was flying a demo but before it really started its show it was hanging in a good position for photographs, although the sun was facing you. This Dauphin, in special markings, flies with 35 F. The French Navy also sent a Falcon 10MER from ES 57. so together with the Atlantic presentation of the Fresh naval forces.
Besides the two AMX the Italians were also represented with an AB-212AM (MM81151/51) of the Army. The French Army sent not only a Gazelle, but also a white PC-6. These aircraft are not seen very often and when they visit airshows there are mainly the camouflaged ones. The Royal Navy sent two Sea Kings, while the announced Merlin was cancelled.
After the helicopters there was a small line with a Harrier Gr.7, Saab J-39A Gripen (39202/202 no markings but it belonged to F21), F-16BM (FB-22 nm 10 Wing Belgian AF), FA-106 (nb 10 Wing), FA-71 (blue tail 350 Sm/2 Wing) and FA-112 (1 Sm 2 Wing with the Recce 2003 tail).
The Belgian Ground component sent a A-109HA H45 (also seen during the Spottersday at Bevekom this week), Alouette-2 and the Belgian Air Component sent two Alouette-3´s of 40 Sm (M-2; M-3 was flying); two SF-260's (ST-20 and ST-47). A Sea King Mk.48 of 40 Sm and a F-16A (FA-05 in 349 sm/1 Wing markings), normally stored at Weelde and now a mobile 'exhibition plane', were displayed in the large hangar.
The organisation managed to get a fly by of an E-3A that was on its way to its homebase Geilenkirchen (LX-N90443).
While the flying diplay is to far away for photos and the sun is facing you, we unfortunately can´t show you photos of that. Besides several Belgian aircraft, a RVS Tornado, MB-339 and G-222 were parked at the flightline and could be seen from the public area´s.
On a personal note: How they parked the static last year was much better.