belFlaganim2The Belgian Alpha Jets’ infopagebelFlaganim2

(all photographs from Marc Arys, unless stated – no reproduction in any form without permission)

>>>> to be continued ….

On June 29 and 30, 2004, Beauvechain Air Base hosted the European Trainer Meet. During this meet AT18 was adorned with ‘tiger’ markings celebrating a.o. the 25 years of the Alpha Jet in the Belgian Force. 

On June 25, 2004, AT08 had been repaired of his bird strike damage and was back in operational service again.   

On May 04, 2004, during a training flight, Alpha Jet AT08 had a bad encounter with a flock of birds and had to divert to Florennes air base to make a succesful emergency landing. Damage is to be on the wings and vertical tail fin. Aircraft remains temporary at Florennes. Hope to have some photographs. (08.05.2004)   

On November 18, 2003, six pilots newly graduated at Beauvechain. They received their wings during the ceremony held at 1 WING airbase and are continuing training at the 11 Squadron. (see also the photopage of the Belgian Air Component) (28.11.2003)

On July 21, 2003, Justine Henin, one of our top ranking tennisplayers, had a flight in an Alphe Jet during the flight on the occasion of our “National Feast-Day”. (see also the photopage of the Belgian Air Component) (28.11.2003)

Some remains of the AT09 and AT16 that crashed on April 19, 1999 (see report at the bottom of this page) will be used in a TV-serie “Spoed” of the belgian television channel VTM, to simulate an emergency in a hospital (a kind of “E.R”) after an airplane crash. (04.07.2002)

The Minister of Defence gave mission to have a “bombburst” on July 21, 2002 at the “National Feast-day” and done… of course…. with Alpha Jets and coloured smoke. (01.07.2002)

On June 20, 2002, the “Red Cocotte” of the 7th Squadron was put on the roof of the 11th Squadron… with a special transportation… the Leopard tank of the 11 Squadron… (30.06.2002)

Promotions under training are the 99B who will graduate from the I.O.T. (Initial Operational Training) in August 2002 and promotion 00A who will receive their “Wings” after the A.F.T. (Advanced Flying Training) in the week following July 21, 2002. (11.06.2002)

There was also a “last flight”… from Cpt. Avi. Gouders “Goud” Patrick, who after a long career as an instructor pilot with the 5th Squadron and AFT (7th and then 11th Squadron), left to the U.S.A. as an ENJJPT instructor on T-38.
Flt. Avi. “Bugs” – after three years on F16 with the 23rd Squadron and then as an instructor pilot with the 7th and then 11th Squadron will also be leaving for the U.S.A. to Sheppard Airbase as an instructor pilot on T-37.

Between May 06 and 17, 2002, the 11th Squadron will be at Montijo airbase (Portugal) again for the regular exercises with the newly graduated pilots. A second session is to be held later on this year in september-october 2002. More details to follow. (11.06.2002)

On October 22, 2001, the 11th “Bat” Squadron left Beauvechain with 8 Alpha Jets (AT06, AT11, AT12, AT20, AT21, AT22, AT29, AT33) for Montijo – Portugal (LPMT – BA6) to pratice live firing and bombdrops. All but one, AT11, are Alpha Jet + (PDM).
AT11 returned from Montijo on Wednesday October, 24 and was “replaced” by AT31 so all the aircraft at Montijo are Alpha Jet +.

On October 12, 2001, Cdt. Avi. MERCIER Luc, instructor pilot at the 7th Squadron, had his last flight. Luc will be leaving the Belgian Air Force to “soldier” on training his volleyball-team and capturing more images with his cameras. Many happy landings, Luc !!!!! (28.10.2001)

On August 28, 2001, Maj. Avi. GOOSSENS Chris, C.O. of the 11th “Bat”Squadron had his “last” flight as C.O. of this squadron. He will leave Beauvechain to return to the Royal Higher Institute for Defence (“War College” in the USA) for his “third cycle” course. Chris will still be flying Alpha Jets as a visitor instructor pilot. His successor is Maj. Avi. Guy VERHULST. An infopage on the restructuration of the 1 Wing and squadrons at Beauvechain will also follow. (28.10.2001)

On July 30, 2001, Promotion 98B completed the I.O.T. (Initial Operational Training). 5 of them are moving on to the O.C.U. (Operational Conversion Unit) while “Val” our second female pilot will move on the the “VEC – (Evaluation Center)” to follow a conversion as a Siai Marchetti instructor. (03.08.2001)

On June 29, 2001, Promotion 99A, made up of 5 newly graduated pilots officially began the I.O.T. (Initial Operational Training) at the 11th “Bat” Squadron. These pilots are : “Krikke”, “Bebert”, “Nico”, “Koen” and “Wiwi”. (31.07.2001)

On June 21, 2001, the 7th Squadron celebrated his 50th anniversary. Participating aircraft : AT05, AT01, AT03, AT08, AT11, AT17 and AT21. (23.06.2001)

On May 14, 2001, the 11th “Bat” Squadron left Beauvechain with 9 Alpha Jets (AT01, AT02, AT08, AT11, AT12, AT18, AT23, AT25 and AT27) for Montijo – Portugal (LPMT) to pratice live firing and bombdrops. They were back home on Friday 25 May 2001. (23.06.2001)

On April 09, 2001, AT26 was officially presented as the display aircraft sporting a new display colour scheme. This aircraft will be flown by Cdt. Avi. Jean-Marc “Meu-Meu” Meunier, now in his second year as a display pilot on Alpha Jet for the Belgian Air Force... (18.04.2001)

Display aircraft AT26 will receive a new display colour scheme, mainly “bordeau red” at the end of March 2001. Still awaiting details regarding the entire colour scheme. (21.03.2001)

At the beginning of July 2001 the first promotion of student pilots will be trained on the “upgraded” Alpha Jets . (21.03.2001)

Regarding this latest I.O.T., the pilots will leave Beauvechain for Montijo (Portugal) from May 14 till 25, 2001 to practise live firing and bomb drops. (12.03.2001)

On this same February 22, 2001, Promotion 98B, made up of 7 newly graduated pilots including the second female pilot in the Belgian Air Force, officially began the I.O.T. (Initial Operational Training) at the 11th “Bat” Squadron. These pilots are : “Tuur”, “Binky”, “Benji”, “Val”, “G²”, “Fox” and “Wizmy”.
see also below – December 14, 2000) (12.03.2001)

On February 22, 2001, Maj. Avi. GOOSSENS Chris, CO of the 11th “Bat” Squadron clocked his 3000th flight hour. Chris started his career in the Belgian Air Force in 1980 and graduated as a pilot through the Royal Military School. He went on flying Siai Marchetti, Alpha Jet, F-16 and then again Alpha Jet.
As well as being the CO of the 11th Squadron, Chris is also an instructor pilot on Alpha Jet, having flown about 1000 hours on the type.

On December 15, 2000, Captain Aviator “Rusty” Kerkhofs, instructor pilot at the 11th “Bat” Squadron, had its “last flight”. “Rusty” left the Belgan Air Force after 12 years of dedicated service, to carry on with a “civilian” flying career. (22.12.2000)

On December 14, 2000, the newly graduated pilots will receive their “wings” during a ceremony held at the 1 Wing airbase at Beauvechain. Amongst these will be the second female belgian fighter pilot, Valerie “Val” Verkeyn. The first female pilot, receiving her “wings in 1992, was Annemie “Mieke” Janssen, who, as a captain nowadays, flies F16. Valerie “Val” Verkeyn and her newly graduated fellow pilots will carry on to the 11th “Bat” Squadron to conduct their I.O.T. (Initial Operational Training) for about 6 to 8 months. This I.O.T. will be concluded by obtaining the “Higher Military Pilot Licence” after wich the young pilots will be assigned to the operational squadrons as a fighter or fighter-bomber pilot on F-16 ; as a transport pilot on C-130, Merlin IIIA, Falcon and Airbus 300 or onto Seaking S.A.R. helicopter. (22.12.2000)

Alpha Jet AT10 (see landing mishap below – July, 20, 1999) was transferred to the airport Charleroi-Gosselies where at the SABCA (Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques) facilities, repair will be carried out.

Regarding the Initial Operational Training stated below, the newly graduated pilots will leave Beauvechain on September 29, 2000 for Montijo, Portugal for air-to-ground exercises and to learn to give air support to ground troops. They will practice live-firing with the DEFA 553 30mm canon as well as live bomb drops….

Besides Pats’ farewell we had also the farewell of the pilots of Promotion 97B – Forrest, Burre, Jimmy, Stef, Boes, Choco and Cloety – these last two pilots are at Tucson Air Base , U.S.A., and are already “solo” on the F-16 – the first five pilots are due to leave the 11th Squadron to go to the O.C.U. (Operational Conversion Unit) on F-16 at Kleine Brogel from September 25, 2000 on.
The newly graduated pilots of Promotion 98A – Neon, Lans, Jaak, Dave, Tchole – celebrated their arrival at the 11th Sqadron. For the next months they will complete their Initial Operational Training (I.O.T.) with this unit at the end of wich they will receive the “Higher Military Pilot license” and will be assigned to the operational squadrons.

On September 20, 2000, “Pat” Deschrijver, instructor pilot at the 11th “Bat” Squadron and Alpha Jet solo-display pilot from 1994 till 1999, had his “last flight” on Alpha Jet. Pat is due to leave the squadron on September 25, 2000 to go on with his career flying the NATO AWACS aircraft (AAAA…..AWACS-DRIVER).
Pat started his career in October 1977 and graduated in February 1980. He flew on Siai Marchetti, Fouga Magister and Mirage V and totalizes over 5.700 flying hours of wich more than 3.600 on Alpha Jet with the 11th “Bat” Squadron for about 11 years !
As his CO stated, he was always openminded, devoted, helpfull and was loved by anyone who came to know Pat.
We will surely miss him. Many happy landings, Pat !!!!

From September 18, 2000 till September 22, 2000 some pilots of the 7th “Get In” Squadron are on a squadron-exchange at Lecce (LIBN-Italy) and involves Alpha Jet AT03, AT05, AT23 and AT25. (21.09.2000)

On July 20, 1999 Alpha Jet AT10 experienced brake problems on landing at Beauvechain air base, ran off the runway and came to a halt in the grass damaging the nose landing gear. The instructor pilot ejected and was slightly injured. The student pilot stayed with the aircract and escaped injury. Although it was hoped the aircraft was repairable, AT10 is still in a shelter at Beauvechain awaiting his fate, bringing the number of Alpha Jets in active service in the Belgian Air Force down to 28. (12.09.2000)

On April 19, 1999, in the late afternoon, Alpha Jet AT09, flown by Cpt-Cdt. Patrick “Pat” Deschrijver, and Alpha Jet AT16, flown by Cpt-Cdt. Jean-Marc “Meu-Meu” Meunier, collided while performing a barrel roll during a new formation display practise. Both pilots ejected safely. The aircaft crashed in an open field.
There are still 29 Alpha Jets in active service in the Belgian Air Force.


The remains of AT09 and AT16 during the post-crash investigation




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