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Luchtmachtdagen 2016 Leeuwarden Air Base June 10-11
Latest update: June 2016
Photo's have been made on Thursday June 9 (arrival day and demo rehearsals) and June 10.

During the rehearsal of Patrouille Swiss two of their F-5Es collided in mid air. One aircraft crashed in the village of Bitgum located a few kilometers (miles) to the Northwest of Leeuwarden and its air base. The pilot could eject from his aircraft and landed safely at a farm, the aircraft came down in a pond. The second aircraft was damaged (right stabilizer) and was checked out by his colleagues while emergency services rushed to the crash area to secure the crash side and provide medical assistance. The pilot escaped with little injuries and on the ground there were fortunately no casualties.

The crashed F-5E arriving at Leeuwarden. Patrouille Swiss starting their rehearsal.
The damaged F-5E safely recovering at Leeuwarden.

With both F-35A Lightning IIs bases at Leeuwarden for trials in The Netherlands they received the most attention. F-001 and F-002 took part in the Air Power Demo's held on Friday and Saturday June 10-11. It marked the international air show debut for the Lockheed Martin build fifth generation fighter.

Another debut was made by the Italian Air Force M-346A which send two trainers for static display. The RNLAF has two instructor pilots and two students assigned to 61 BA as it has expressed an interest in the aircraft as lead-in-trainer for its F-35A aircraft.

Please visit F-35 in The Netherlands for more information.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force decided to hold their change of command ceremony on Friday June 9th. After four years of service as C-LSK (Commander RNLAF) Lt.Gen. Alexander Schnitger transferred the RNLAF banner to Lt.Gen Dennis Luyt. The ceremony took place after the Air Power Demo and when concluded the participating APD aircraft performed a fly-by which is one of the traditions during the change of command ceremony.

Compared to previous Luchtmachtdagen the number of participants was limited which was especially visible in the static display. Aircraft not attending the Luchtmachtdagen which were confirmed on the official website: Irish Air Force PC-9M, Norwegian Air Force C-130J-30, Polish Air Force / Army Mi-17, Royal Air Force Hawk T1.

All photogalleries below are shown on country order.
Static display
French Air Force Alpha Jets on the
international static.
German Air Force Eurofighters (EF-2000)
on the F-16 static.
Italian Air Force M-346 on the international display ramp.
Slovak Air Force Mig-29AS from Sliac Air Base. RAF Tucano T1 parked next to the other trainers.  
Royal Netherlands Air Force static display F-16s
Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s from 322 squadron and the Flight Test Unit (Orange Jumper) were displayed at several static ramps and were configured with different weapon configurations.
  Sniper targeting pod.  
  Orange Jumper assigned to F-16 Flight Test Unit.  
Flying display including rehearsals on Thursday
After the crash of a F-5E (Patrouille Swiss) the rehearsals on Thursday were cancelled.
The Austrian Air Force painted one of
its PC-7s in a 30th anniversary color
scheme (1983 - 2013). It was send to Leeuwarden for flying display. The Czech Air Force send a Gripen (JAS-39C) for flying display.
NF-5A from the Turkish Stars during the rehearsal of their display. Turkish Star NF-5B after completing the rehearsal display. Royal Navy Black Cats demo team Wildcat AH1
Air Power Demo
Like previous years the Royal Netherlands Air Force this year also provided the Air Power Demonstration (APD). F-16s clear the way for Defence Helicopter Command (DHC) AH-64D Apaches and CH-47D/F Chinooks demonstrating an air assault. An Hercules transports troops and/or equipment once the area is cleared while F-16s stay on the scene providing Combat Air Support (CAS).

This year marking the international air show debut of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning both RNLAF F-35A were integrated in the APD flying alonside the F-16s they will replace in service.

After concluding the APD all aircraft left to their holding positions on Friday awaiting the sign for the change of command fly-by. The formations consisted of a one F-35A leading nine F-16s, two Apache and two Chinooks, one C-130H Hercules, one KDC-10 and one F-35A leading a F-16AM and Royal Netherlands Air Force historic flight Spitfire.
International Air Show debut of the F-35A Lightning II. with both aircraft intergrated in the Air Power Demo. F-35A shooting flares during its air field attack.
F-16s flew in pairs coming in from the North departing to the West or vice versa.
Flares in the way out. F-16s approaching from the North lining up for their run.
Another round of flares released. AH-64D Apache maneuvering to protect the Chinooks on the ground.
  C-130H Hercules during APD.  
F-35A and F-16AM/BM formation leading the change of command fly-by ceremony followed by the Chinook.
Chinook leading the Apache formation during the fly-by followed by the KDC-10.
  Closing formation: F-35, F-16, Spitfire.  
Arrival day
The Belgian Air Force F-16 solo display teams arrives at Leeuwarden. Red Devils display team, Belgian Air Force, on initial before overhead break. 1 Wing send a NH90-TTH for participation on static display.
Czech Air Force C-295M supporting the
Gripen and Hind display teams.
Czech Air Force JAS-39C Gripen and
Mi-35 Hind arrival at Leeuwarden.
The French Air Force send two Alpha Jets from Tours Air Base. A Norvenich TLG 31 EF-2000 about to touch down on runway 05. First time in the Netherlands for the Italian Air Force M-346.
Arriving after its mission for static display one of the NATO E-3A AWACS.
Royal Netherlands Air Force AH-64D Apache on approach. Royal Netherlands Air Force C-130H-30 Hercules to go to the static display.
Royal Netherlands Air Force CH-47D Chinook. Royal Netherlands Air Force NH90-NFH from nearby De Kooy.
Royal Netherlands Air Force PC-7 in use as basic pilot trainer aircraft.
Polish Air Force C-295M from Krakow arriving to take part in the static display joined by its colleagues from Łask with an F-16D (block 52). The Slovak Air Force operates a number of L-410s. Here supporting the Migs.
Slovak Air Force Mig-29AS in tiger markings on final approach. Another C-295M this time from Ala 35 Spanish Air Force. Wearing special markings a Spanish Air Force EF-2000 arrives for flying display.
Providing support for Patrouille Swiss the sole Swiss Air Force Falcon 900 arrives. The Royal Air Force uses the Tucano T1 for pilot training and send one for static. Based in California near Los Angeles the  USAF send an AFRC C-17A for static.
Participants overview

1: Participants not photographed are not included in the overview (Royal Navy Merlin, Patrouille de France).

2: APD = Air Power Demo.

3: Patrouille Suisse arrived on Thursday morning. In the after the team departed for their display rehearsal during which they suffered a mid air collision (see above). Subsequently they cancelled their displays during the air show days.
Country Aircraft Sqdn / wing Static Flying APD Support Comment
Belgium F-16AM F-16 solo display team   X      
  SF-260M Red Devils   X      
  NH90-TTH 1 wing X        
Czech Republic C-295M 242.tsl       X  
  JAS-39C 211. tl   X      
  Mi-35 221.vrl   X      
France Alpha Jet EAC 00.314 X        
Germany EF-2000 TLG 31 X        
Italy MB-339 Frecce Tricolori   X      
  M-346A 212° Gruppo X        
NATO E-3A NAEW&CF X        
Netherlands AH-64D 301 Squadron X   X    
  AH-64D Solo display team   X      
  C-130H 336 Squadron     X    
  C-130H-30 336 Squadron X        
  CH-47D 298 Squadron X        
  CH-47D 298 Squadron     X    
  CH-47F 298 Squadron     X    
  F-16AM 313 Squadron     X    
  F-16AM 322 Squadron     X    
  F-16AM 322 Squadron X        
  F-16AM F-16 test unit X        
  F-35A 323 Squadron     X   3 week OT&D NL
  KDC-10 334 Squadron     X    
  NH90-NFH 860 Squadron X        
  PC-7 131 (EMVO) Squadron X        
Country Aircraft Sqdn / wing Static Flying APD Support Comment
Poland C-295M 13 ELTr (8 BLTr) X        
    10 ELT (32 BLTr) X        
Slovakia L-410UVP-E20 Dopravné krídl       X  
  Mig-29AS Zmiesané krídl X X      
Spain C-295M Ala 35       X  
  EF-2000 Ala 14   X      
Switzerland F-5E Patrouille Suisse         Display cancelled
  Falcon 900EX-EASy LTBD       X  
Turkey NF-5A/B Turkish stars   X      
United Kingdom Hawk T.1 Red Arrows   X      
  Tucano T1 72 (R) Squadron X        
  Wildcat AH1 / HMA2 Black Cats   X      
United States C-17A 452nd AMW X