A Belgian Air Force F-16 pilot will be the 6th in the world to score 5,000 hours on the aircraft

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Mission accomplished © Jurgen Braekevelt Belgian Defence

Captain Steven De Vries, a Belgian Air Force pilot, will score 5,000 flight hours for the first time on Friday in a training flight in an F-16 from Kleine Brogel Air Base. 

Forty-eight-year old Limburg-born Captain De Vries is the sixth pilot in the world and the first European to cross the 5,000-hour mark in an F-16. Only five American pilots had crossed this symbolic milestone before him.

Those 5,000 flight hours were accumulated both during operational training missions and operational deployment. Captain De Vries, nicknamed “Vrieske”, has been a member of the Belgian Air Force since 1990.

Three other pilots will accompany “Vrieske” on his milestone flight on Friday. At four, they total more than 16,000 flight hours on F-16, which is also unique in the world, underlines the Belgian Defence.

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