On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, the inhabitants of Ostend will be able to enjoy a unique view: still a SeaKing in the sky of the most beautiful City by the Sea. The VLOC (Flemish Aviation Training Centre in Ostend) and its partners have a unique collaboration with the Ministry of Defence. The training centre receives the SeaKing registered RS-05 as educational material for their Aircraft Engineering students.
The VLOC – Flemish Aviation Training Centre in Ostend – opened its doors in June 2007. It is the home base for the VIVES University of Applied Sciences bachelor’s degree, the Petrus & Paulus West secondary education in aircraft techniques and the adult education of the VDAB Aspirant Aircraft Maintenance Technician. These programmes together provide for around 200 students of Aircraft Engineering in Ostend.
In addition to these training courses, the VLOC is also the place to be for all aviation-related events and projects to support the MRO sector (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul). Like for example yesterday the unique job fair “Aerojobs”, the job fair for aviation technicians of the future. The job fair is established thanks to the Flemish – Dutch Interreg project “Educavia – Education for Aviation” and was able to bring together more than 350 students and job seekers yesterday with the specialized companies in this niche sector.
The Black Beauty
The SeaKing RS-05 is also called “the black beauty”. Built in 1976, it had its first flight in June of the same year. The base of Koksijde welcomed it in November 1976. Since 2001, this helicopter proudly wears the Belgian colours on its recognisable black body. After a wonderful career of 43 years, it can effectively retire in Ostend. The SeaKings flew a total of 60,000 flight hours and saved 1,757 people in 3,309 rescue operations. The SeaKing RS-05 will now inspire aviation students in Ostend and far beyond to develop their careers in this fascinating sector.
“Ostend-Bruges Airport is particularly pleased that thanks to the excellent cooperation with the VLOC and the Ministry of Defence, one of the SeaKing aircraft will have its final ‘resting place’ here at the airport. It is not necessary to repeat that the SeaKing has been the icon par excellence during decades of rescue operations at sea. In addition to being a great crowd puller, we are also delighted that in the future this aircraft will now be able to prove its services for the many students in aviation training. In addition to our main activities as an airport, it fits perfectly with our strategy to promote and further develop secondary activities such as aviation training and research within the airport site. The VLOC and VIVES are therefore ideal partners for this and we welcome the further development and professionalization thereof“, said Eddy Myngheer, Business Unit Manager at Ostend-Bruges Airport.
Largest aviation campus
“The VLOC is the beating heart on the largest aviation campus in our country. The training centre is adjacent to the tarmac of Ostend-Bruges airport and is surrounded by the Ostend Air College (OAC) pilot school, the brand new North Sea Aviation Center (NSAC), Noordzee Vliegclub and Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen (NHV). This gives us a unique position as a training center. In combination with our many years of unique training in the centre, we are ready to expand our activities. Thanks to the wonderful cooperation with the Ministry of Defence, this is the ideal starting point,” says Geert Keirens, managing director of the VLOC.