I am used to the sound of military jets flying over the house. Living close to the Air Bases of Volkel, Gilze-Rijen and Kleine Brogel, there are F-16’s in the skies quite often. But when I hear, the sound of multiple jets coming and going my aviation brain is automatically put in a state of alert. Some of the jet noise did not sound familiar so I decide to go and have a look outside. As I step out on to the back porch, I gasp and run back inside to grab my camera.
“There is a Lightning in the sky! There is a Lighting in the sky!” As I grab my camera, I still can’t beleive it, but there really is a F-35 Lightning II of the Royal Dutch Air Force in the sky. A very rare sight in the skies over Belgium and the Netherlands. There really was a Lightning in the sky and it was doing flyby’s over my home.
On top of that, I saw a couple of Vipers hiding in the tree line. First 1, then 2, then even more F-16 Fighting Falcon of the Belgian Air Force appeared over the treeline behind my house. Not in the regular combat formation–about 2km apart–but much closer. I knew something was up.
I keep watching and in true Top Gun style, I exclaim: “Holy sh*t! It’s Vador!” as I see the Dark Falcon skipping over the trees too. In case you don’t know: Vador is the 2020 F-16 demo pilot for the Belgian Air Force. His F-16 is nicknamed Dark Falcon.
I know that these aren’t the greatest pics but you can just about make out the 2020 paint scheme of the Dark Falcon.
He was part of a 12 ship formation performing a flyby at Kleine Brogel Air Base with the Dutch F-35 and an Airbus A330-200 MRTT as a farewell to the commander of the Belgian Air Force I learned later.
The A330-200 MRTT of the Royal Dutch Air Force is rare sight in the skies over Belgium. Stationed at Eindhoven Air Base, these A330-200 MRTT will serve as air-to-air refueling planes for NATO. I watched as a number of F-16 Fighting Falcon of the Belgium Air Force lined up with it for a formation flight.
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