Under a threatening sky on Wednesday, 2 October at 14:30, the Center of Competence of the Air Component (CC Air) organized the annual ceremony of handing wings to the new pilots at Beauvechain AFB.
This ceremony, led by Colonel Patrick Goossens, CC Air Corps Chief, was held in the presence of several national and international authorities.
General-Major Airman Frederik Vansina, Aide de Camp du Roi, Commander of the Air Component, gave the wings to seven young Belgian pilots: four fighter pilots (F-16), one helicopter pilot and two transport pilots (including a female pilot). General Vansina reiterated the importance of this day for these seven new pilots who integrate the Air Component family.
The plane on which they started their training is the SF-260 Marchetti. This iconic aircraft will celebrate tomorrow the 50th anniversary in the Belgian Air Force. In addition to his skills in visual flight training and acrobatics, it also trained in instrument flying, low-level navigation, training flying, night flying, and introducing young students pilots to the complexity of their future operational missions.
In 50 years, a total of 337,000 flight hours were completed and more than 3,000 Belgian and foreign pilots piloted it. The Air Component acquired in 1991, in addition to the 36 SF260 version M, nine SF260 D version for advanced training IFR.