Wings for Classes 03 and 05 RMA at Beauvechain


Nine young student pilots received the licence of Belgian military pilot and the accompanying Wings during a ceremony held at Beauvechain airbase on March 14th, 2007. Five of them belonged to Class (20)03, while the others were students of Class 140 Social and Military Sciences of the Royal Military Academy, also calling themselves Class 05 RMA.

 Forty-three student pilots of Class 03 started their demanding training with a preparatory academic year at the Royal Military Academy (RMA) between October 6th, 2003 and August 31st, 2004. Ten of them received their Wings on July 5th, 2006, while another five completed advanced flying training in December 2006. These five student pilots obtained an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) between October 5th, 2003 and August 31st, 2004. On September 13th, 2004 they joined the Flight Academy of the 1st Wing at Beauvechain airbase, where they completed basic flying training on SIAI Marchetti SF.260M by March or April 2006. After basic flying training, the student pilots went different ways in accordance with the track for which they were most suited or for which they had a personal preference. Three candidate jet pilots went to Tours, France, between March 13th and December 20th, 2006 for advanced flying training on the Dornier-AMD Alpha Jet E. One student joined Avord, France, where he flew the Embraer EMB.121 Xingu from March 6th till December 13th, 2006 as a first step in becoming a transport pilot. Also a single student pilot was selected for the helicopter track. He went through advanced flying training between April 18th and December 12th 2006. This training exceptionally took place at Coxyde airbase, where a number of Alouette II helicopters were based as a transitional measure between the closure of the flying school at Brasschaat and the completion of the agreement with the Ecole d’Application de l’Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre in Dax, France, for the training of Belgian helicopter pilots.


Streaming of pilot training is now a fact with the Belgian Air Component. After successfully completing basic flying training student pilots immediately switch to jet, transport or helicopter training to fulfil the Air Component’s needs for pilots in a rapid, cost-efficient and effective way.


The four other student pilots combined academic training in social and military sciences with flying training. They started basic flying training on July 1st, 2002 and completed it in March or April 2006. After obtaining the Airline Transport Pilot Licence between June 27th, 2005 and August 5th, 2006, they joined their colleagues of the same track for advanced flying training in Tours, Avord or Coxyde. These four students were all members of Class 140 Social and Military Sciences of the Royal Military Academy. As a group of graduates who completed academic education in 2005, they called themselves Class 05 RMA.

Symbolising Franco-Belgian cooperation: an Armée de l’Air colonel in a Belgian Air Component Alpha Jet 1B+.

Class 03 & 05 RMA. Back, from left to right: 2nd Lieutenant William Daniel (Saint-Ghislain, Jet), 1st Lieutenant Pieter Palmans (Peer, Class 140 Social and Military Sciences, RMA, Transport), 1st Lieutenant Inge Huygebaert (Oostnieuwkerke, Class 140 Social and Military Sciences, RMA, Transport), 2nd Lieutenant Sébastien Delaunoy (Charleroi,Transport) and 2nd Lieutenant Senne Helsen (Jet). Front, from left to right: 1st Lieutenant Steven Van Der Vorst (Aalst, Class 140 Social and Military Sciences, RMA, Jet), 1st Lieutenant Robrecht Ulenaers (Peer, Class 140 Social and Military Sciences, RMA, Heli), 2nd Lieutenant Filip Peremans (Beringen, Heli) and 2nd Lieutenant Nico Steens (Jet).

Following the transport track are 1st Lieutenants Pieter Palmans and Inge Huygebaert and 2nd Lieutenant Sébastien Delaunoy.

1st Lieutenant Inge Huygebaert precedes her male colleagues during the Wings Parade at Beauvechain airbase. Five women are now serving with the Belgian Air Component as military pilots: one jet pilot (Karen Vandenbroucke, Fighting Falcon, 350 Squadron/2 Wing), two transport pilots (Anne-Marie Jansen and Inge Huygebaert, Hercules, 20 Squadron/15 Wing) and two helicopter pilots (Valerie Verkeyn, Sea King, 40 Sqn and Christel Struyven, Hirundo, Wing Heli).


Text and pictures by

 Jos Schoofs © March 2007

Last updated 22/11/09 11:12   Daniel Brackx