|When Chickens become Hawks…|
On 8 March 2005 five students of Class 2002A graduated as military pilots during a wings parade at Beauvechain airbase, home of the 1st Wing. The highlight of this event was without doubt the handover by Major-General Michel Audrit, Commander of the Belgian Defence Air Component, of the much strived for wings to the young pilots. Four of them will continue training to become a combat pilot, while the fifth successful candidate of Class 02A will complete the training programme for transport pilots.
Class 02A was the last to complete ground and flying training entirely in Belgium. In the framework of a Belgian-French cooperation programme, advanced flying training of the two nations’ student pilots will take place jointly in France on the common training aircraft of both air arms, the Dornier-AMD Alpha Jet. The next class of Belgian student pilots, 02B, is at present at the Ecole de Chasse in Tours, France, accomplishing advanced flying training on jet aircraft. From now on, only ground school and primary flying training will take place in Belgium. The former at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels, the latter at the 1st Wing in Beauvechain.
The hardware on which Belgian combat pilots are trained nowadays: the SIAI Marchetti SF.260M and D, the Dornier-AMD Alpha Jet E and 1B (in this case a French Alpha Jet E) and the Lockheed-Martin F-16B-MLU.
Text and pictures by
Last updated 27/07/05 17:18 Daniel Brackx