This years edition of the belgian defencedays was to be held at Florennes airbase in the begian Ardennes just south of Charleroi.I was lucky enough to be selected as 1 of the supportcrew for our stand of the belgian Navy.We arrived on the thursday before the arrival of most aircraft which should take place on the friday when they had organized a spottersday together with a pressevent.On my arrival the spanish F5's were already parked at the flightline so they came in well ahead of the rest of the aircraft.

On friday we had nothing to do because we had build our stand the day before so I could use the entire day to shoot some nice pictures.In the early morning I drove towards the flightline to see what was parked up there and to find to my surprise a romanian IAR99. After a nice chat with their flightchief I found out that it had came here to fly a demo, as support they had brought 1 of their aging AN26 which was parked on the far end of the runway.After my tour around the flightline and the shelters the first busses came in loaded with spotters which were transported towards the photospot near the main runway.                             

 I walked towards this spot aswell to meet up with some of my friends who had signed in for this day and heard that they had payed a grand total of 40€ !! to be able to attend this day.At 1230 they were escorted back towards a new perimeter behind the secondary runway near the crossing of the taxiway behind the VIPtent. 1 of the things what was great on friday was the weather, the temprature was around 25˚C and some small clouds making the sky beautiful.

Most demo-aircraft had also a practicerun on friday to show to showcontrol their moves before showing them to the public on saturday and sunday.The dutch(sheik) had brought a F16BM along so the belgian demopilot(mickey) could team up with him in the rearseat during his practicerun.At the end of the day the E3A from Geilenkirchen was the last to arrive. Some aircraft didn't arrive at all like the german tornado and the turkish F16 but then again the greek brought 2 special paint Corsairs to lighten things up.

On saturday the gates opened for the public and they had to open them early because already lots of people were waiting in front of the gates to get in.The weather started out nicely but during the morning the sun disappeared behind a thick layer of clouds which eventually led towards heavy rainfall around 3 o'clock in the afternoon.Many of the spectators left the airfield before the show had ended and Patrouille de France didn't even get the chance to preform due to bad weather.

On sunday a lot of people were scared off by the weather of the day before but the weather developed nicely and improved steadily during the day.The airpowerdemo which they preformed looked like sh** and the should take a look how the dutch or the brits do it. The great benefit of these kind of shows is that a great number of their aircraft will be present at these events.This event was the last in its kind and next year all belgian components will host their own events again(lets hope a real airforce show again).

Jan Eenling© 2006-2010