Famous Last Flights ....

Commander Michael "Mickey" Artiges

Famous Belgian Air Force Lockheed F-16AM demonstration pilot, Commander Michael "Mickey" Artiges gave his last demo flight before assembled friends and press at a snow covered Florennes Airbase on Wednesday 03 December 2008.

Mickey Artiges

Commander "Mickey" Artiges taxies out of the shelter housing Viper FA-57 in which he performed his last demonstration at a snow covered Florennes Airbase.

Mickey Artiges

Mickey's enthusiasm, friendliness and professionalism merged into one of the best F-16 displays in the world. 

Artiges flew three seasons as Display Pilot for the Air Component. His last "action" for the general public dates back to early November, at Nellis airshow in the U.S.  "Mickey" is a pilot with N° 1 Squadron at Florennes and totals 2550 flying hours, 2.150 of which on F-16.

Mickey Artiges

 Mickey at the conclusion of his last demonstration flight, extreme professionally makes way for emotions.

 Mickey, thanks for your great performance and honest friendship.

His successor is the 33-year-old Captain Michel "Mitch" Beulen from 349 Squadron at Kleine Brogel.

 Mickey Artiges

"Mickey" welcomes his successor "Mitch" Beulen with a glass of Champaign while Marc, "Mickey's" proud dad looks on.

Captain Michel "Mitch" Beulen is a pilot since 1998 and totalises over 2,000 flight hours of which 1.700 on F-16 and will be the  Air Component's new demonstration pilot as of next year.

Mickey Artiges

Both pilots were congratulated by the Air Component Commander, Lieutenant General Gerard VAN CAELENBERGE. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Rorive


One day later another famous demonstration pilot made his last flight on Siai Marchetti SF.260M ST-15 at Beauvechain. The man who gave the world a superb and extended view of the marvellous butterfly tailed Fouga Magister, Lt. Colonel Paul Rorive made his last flight with N° 9 Squadron. Up to October 2007 Paul was the demonstration pilot of the last flying military Fouga Magisters in the world. Who will not remember the fascinating demonstrations flight by this very skilled pilot? He will continue to fly with the Air Force's Piper L-21c Piper Cubs assigned to towing the gliders of the Belgian Air Cadets.



It was snowing quite hard at Beauvechain airbase when Paul taxied in after his last Marchetti flight.


Paul, thanks for letting us admire your professional skills on the wonderful Fouga and Marchetti.



Another interesting page on "Mickey's" last demo flight can be found here: http://www.sbap.be/events/2008/mickey/mickey.htm on SBAP.

 Text and pictures by

© Daniel Brackx (December 2008)





Last updated 27/12/10 14:53   Daniel Brackx