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Gilze Rijen Spottersday September 7th, 2016
 
Latest update: September 2016
 
After an absence of four years the Gilze-Rijen Aviation Society (GRAS) and the Royal Netherlands Air Force Defence Helicopter Command (DHC) organized a spottersday during the afternoon of Wednesday September 7th.

The DHC has its headquarters at Gilze-Rijen Air Base and is home to 298 squadron equipped wit the the Boeing CH-47D en CH-47F Chinook, 300 squadron with the Airbus Helicopter AS532U2 Cougar and 301 squadron with the Boeing AH-64D Apache. Two of the DHC squadrons are based at De Kooy. 7 and 860 squadrons are operating the NH Industries NH90-NFH.

All three Gilze-Rijen based squadrons flew regular missions in the morning and afternoon.
 
CH-47D from 298 Squadron with sling load returning from a mission. A 300 Squadron Cougar on final runway 10 after a local flight. Two Apaches from 301 squadron were active on and around the base.
     
 
 
The official spotters day took place between 12.00 and 17.00 but before they had to check in two Belgian Air Components Alpha Jets made a touch-and-go. A German Air Force EF-2000 from Taktische Luftwaffengeschwader 73 "Steinhoff" opened the afternoon with two low approaches. He was followed by another 20 aircraft either making approaches, touch-and-goes or landing to remain overnight (Danish T-17s and French Alpha Jet and TB.30s).

A day earlier two French Army helicopters, a SA330B Puma and SA342M Gazelle, arrived and both flew a mission together during the afternoon. They closed the spotters day by departing back home to their base in Northern France but not before making another overshoot for the assembled spotters both inside and outside the air base.

A thank you to all people of GRAS and DHC / Gilze-Rijen for organizing the spotters day.
 
Photogallery
 
Below photogallery is presented on aircraft arrival order providing an overview of the day. Excluded are the home based helicopters returning from their missions.
 
   
First visitor of the day a Belgian Air Component (BAC) Alpha Jet. Which was followed by its colleague / wingman a few minutes later. Opening the afternoon a German Air Force EF-2000.
     
     
Two German Army EC135T1s checked in while their Air Force colleague was 
busy with the touch-and-goes and landed when the Eurofighter had departed. 
The French Army Puma and Gazelle for a low approach before starting their mission. 
     
     
A French Air Force C-135FR made a tactical approach.  The third Alpha Jet of the Southern (Belgian Air Component) neighbors.  The Danish Air force operates the Saab T-17 of which three arrived.
     
     
T-17 wearing the Baby Blue demo team colors. 21 Smaldeel operates the VIP fleet of the BAC and send an ERJ-135LR. The Xingu (EMB-121AA) is used for pilot training by the French Air Force. 
     
     
Followed by two TB.30 Epsilons trainers of the French Air Force. A German Tornado from made two passes.   And was followed by a three-ship of RNLAF F-16s from Volkel. 
     
     
Breaking South with all three making a different approach before they continued back to their home base. Unmarked F-16 wheels up approach. 313 squadron F-16AM wheels down approach.
     
     
More Alpha Jets. This time two aircraft 

of the French Air Force. 

The (three) C-17s from the HAW are heavily tasked. One made an approach before landing at Eindhoven. 
     
     
Last visitors of the day. Belgian Air Component F-16s from the 31 Smaldeel the 'Tiger' squadron. based at Kleine-Brogel. Their 2016 Tiger aircraft was assigned to the Quick Reaction Alert. Four passes were made by the pilots which they ended a high speed pass then continuing home just accross the border.
     
     
'Last round' before heading back home. French Army SA.330B Puma and French Army 'Tiger' SA.342M Gazelle.
 
Spotters day visitors
Country Squadron, Wing Aircraft Airbase # No.
         
Belgium 11 Smaldeel Alpha Jet Cazaux, France 3
  21 Smaldeel, 15 Wing ERJ-135LR Brussels (Melsbroek) 1
  31 Smaldeel, 10 Wing F-16AM Kleine-Brogel 2
         
Denmark Flyveskolen (FLSK) T-17 Karup 3
         
         
France ERV 02.091 C-135FR Istres 1
  EAT 00.319 EMB-121AA Avord 1
  EPAA 00.315 TB-30 Cognac/Châteaubernard 2
  EAC 00.314 Alpha Jet Tours 2
  3e régiment d'hélicoptères combat (3e RHC) SA.330B Puma, SA.342M Gazelle Étain 2
         
Germany Taktische Luftwaffengeschwader 51 "Immelmann" (TLG 51) Tornado, Tornado ECR Schleswig-Jagel 1
  Taktische Luftwaffengeschwader 73 "Steinhoff" (TLG 73) EF-2000/T Neuburg 1
  Heeresfliegerwaffenschule (HFWS) EC135T1 Bückeburg 2
         
Hungary Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) C-17A Papa 1
         
Netherlands 313 Squadron F-16AM Volkel 3