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Eindhoven & Baarlo - 12 november 2019
Together with the 'Bende van Ellende' I went to visit PS Aero in Baarlo. But that same week the 1st CAB returned to the USA from a deployment in Europe. The choppers made a refuel stop over the weekend at Eindhoven. So before we went to Baarlo,we made a short stop at Eindhoven Welschap.
We counted 26 choppers. A nice view it was!
We also caught the KDC-10 T-235 with the special tail, which was not in my collection yet.
After that stop we went to Baarlo to PS Aero. There we got a brief history of the museum/aircraft trading place. A guided tour followed, resulting in the following pictures.
After the tour we had a couple of drinks and something to eat at a cafe.
All in all it was a nice day! Special thanks to Sonja for arranging and Erik for the ride.
Eindhoven - 19 & 21 september 2019
Maple Leaf is the parajump exercise which is held together with the remembrance of operation Market Garden. The parajumps are at the Ginkelse Heide, but the planes are flying from my home base, Eindhoven Welschap. Because of the 75th anniversary, a lot of different planes and nations showed up.
I decided to go 2 days. Luckily I did, because I managed to get all the different planes this way. A nice bonus was the approach of KDC-10 T-264, as it turned out to be the last time I saw this plane in Dutch service.
Eindhoven - 14 & 17 september 2019
Market Garden was, after D-Day, the biggest push from the Allies in their attempt to free Europe. Since this year saw the 75th anniversary several events took place, including a historical military parade that passes right through my town, Eindhoven.
Always nice to see, and this year a bigger than normal parade was expected. Unfortunately there were 2 organisations which had both their own parade. Due to a bit of research and a tip from my buddy, I was able to attent both and saw nearly every vehicle.
On 14 september Bart with family and I went to a nice green spot on the road between Valkenswaard and Eindhoven. It was an extreme long parade, but not everybody was in correct historical clothing. And I also hoped for a higher amount of combat vehicles.
The second parade on 17 september was cut into multiple convoys with different routes. These convoys were completly historical, a lot of participants were foreign (English). To my pleasure there were a lot of combat vehicles.
The first convoy in the morning I caught on the Aalsterweg.
The second convoy deviated from its original route. So I left my first spot (the road to Geldrop) and went to a spot where I couldn't miss any convoy (the exit road to Son). A long wait and many doubts paid off!
Again a lot of combat vehicles, and as you can see in the movie, a Sherman driving by at not even a meter away!
Soesterberg - 25 augustus 2019
Together with a friend I went to Soesterberg for a tank event. The depots would be opened.
This event was focused on children, but I knew a Challenger 1 would attent and I wanted to make good photo's of the Phantom in the markings of the 32nd.
Reason enough to go!
Fairford, England - 22 & 23 july 2019
I was quite nervous to go to the RIAT this year. My buddy Bart had to cancel this trip due to illness, so I had to go on my own. Getting on 4Aviation bus I met some buddies from the Normandy trip earlier this year, so i was right at home.
Day 1, showday. I think I did the static this year in an absolute record of 1,5 hour including coffee... For the show I met up with the 'Bende van ellende' (the Misarable Gang) and watched the show with them. Highlights were the delamination of the right stabilator (oops) of the US F-16 and the duo Harriers (Matadors) from Spain.
Day 2: departure day. Most aircraft, also the static ones, go home on monday. An excellent opportunity to catch them! We were located at the end of the runway, a lot of aircraft already gained some height, but nonetheless it was a great day. Absolute personal highlight were the two Turkish Phantoms (Terminators).
A nice view on the way home. Sun set over England, Dover.
Volkel - 13-15 juni 2019
Time for the 'classic' Open Days of the Dutch Airforce. FilmBart and I went to the arrival day and I went to the second showday with a friend.
The arrival day was as usual: a lot of landing planes, a few rehersals and a lot of fun.
I was really looking forward to the arrival of 2x F-4 Phantoms from Greece because it would be probably the last time I would see this plane flying.
The second showday (i skipped the first) me and a friend went with an excelent arranged bustrip to Volkel. It was as I am used to from the KLu, a good organisation and a good show.
Highlights were the soon to be MRTT (M-001?) tanker in fabric colors, 2 F-35's, F-16 formation and Hercules with flares.
I was also very glad the KDC-10 'T-264' did a sort of demo, it would be probably the last time I would see this plane before it would leave the Dutch Airforce.
Arnhem - 21 april 2019
For Easter my sister and her husband thought it was a good idea to have brunch at the Burgers Zoo. Together with my parents and my sister, husband, nephew and niece we went to visit the zoo. The food was good, it was a lot of fun and ofcourse I brought my camera.
I am especially proud (and lucky) with the shots of the tiger.
I mostly looked forward to the first day. Being present in Normandy at the para drop, the place where 75 years earlier the para's dropped out of Dakota's at the start of D-Day. Now they would do it again, out of the same old aircraft, with the same round parachutes!
We arrived in Sannerville, 'drop zone K'.
First we witnessed a para drop out of a Dakota and a few modern military transport aircraft. A Spitfire was also present.
After this drop we decided to go to the other side of the dropzone. We wanted to have other angles for our shots.
Then the formation Dakota's arrived from England to do the main drop. We hoped that all 30 Dakota's would drop para's, but it would turn out that there were only 6 that had para's on board. The others we saw fly by at a distance. We would get those later on the trip anyway.
Goosebumps would not describe the feeling of the drop. It was epic to imagine how it must have been 75 years ago, whilst being at the same location with the same planes, but 75 years later.
Today the official commemoration of D-Day was held. A lot of officials from all over the world were visiting Normandy, making it impossible for regular people like us to get close to anything. So, we did a 'Tour de Normandie' at various locations.
First we went to Aérodrome Charles Lindbergh. An Normandy Airfield Camp was created here, just like 75 years ago. Complete with vehicles, all sorts of weapons, bikes, vehicles, well... you name it, it was there.
Only one Mustang came in, so not many movements.
The second stop was at the airfield of Cherbourg. From here a few USAF C-130's flew to drop para's at various locations.
We had the shortest basevisit ever here, being allowed to turn the bus around on the base, which took about 45 seconds.
From Cherbourg we drove to Saint-Mère-Eglise, the place where John Steele managed to get stuck at the church tower.
We visit the Airborne Museum, there was a military camp and a few para's dropped out of a chopper on the town square (and missing the tower).
Today we visited airfield Caen-Carpiquet for the show 'Daks over Normandy'.
We knew the MV-22's of the US president where also there at the local Aero club. A nice bonus for this trip!
Thanks to the skills of our bus driver we managed to get really close.
At the 'Daks over Normandy' the 30-ish Dakota's would fly, we would walk between them to take pictures, talk to the crews... None of this happened due to the poor organisation and the weather. It could be some much more... but it was not.
On the bright side, some US planes came in and I never saw so many 'Daks' together.
After the disapointment of yesterday, we did not expect much of the L-Birds meeting. But it turned out great!
It was a small, but well organised event. Made possible by a lovely lady who fixed everything on the spot. Even a flyby of the Patrouille France was arranged.
All in all it was a great, relaxed day.
After 4 days, we stayed another evening in a hotel before returning home.
A bit mixed feelings about the trip. It was very cool to be in Normandy exactly 75 years later and we had a lot of fun. But the letdown of the Daks over Normandy organisation was disappointing.
Thanks to 4Aviation and the people who I was with for this trip.