Basevisit Koksijde 40th Sqdn.

We met up with our guide at the maingate. And after a little briefing our cars followed him on base to start our basevisit, promptly at 13.30hr. First stop the Sea King hangar. Sadly 2 Sea Kings were out of service with fuel system problems. Taking pictures was no problem and no restrictions at all. Highlight was the English Sea King which already had been stripped of all her useful bits and pieces. Really sad to see RS-03 in a cocooned state. Never to fly again. Also present was a single Alouette. After spending some time here we were escorted to a NH-90 which was about to make a sortie. We could watch the startup and take-off. As a much appreciated bonus the pilot performed a flyby right in front of us. Yep they they made us feel very welcome. A short stop was made for the second time at the Sea King hangar before heading over to a opposite hangar to see the Hunter and S.58 helicopter which were stored in there. These two airframes had in their glory days a prominent spot as gate guards at the main entrance. But since a few years time they have been removed from this spot to the hangar. Awaiting restoration. Now it was time to visit the NH-90 hangar. To get up close with the Sea King replacement. Two airframes were inside. One was in maintenance and it was not allowed to photograph this airframe. After a while the NH-90 came back from it’s training sortie and we could watch him getting hosed down by firemen after landing. After taxiing in front of the hangar and the engines stopped a personal encounter with some crew members resulted in some excellent posing shots. At the wing ops we learned more about the ins and outs of a SAR mission and the equipment used to make these missions possible. Sadly this was also the beginning of the end of our visit to Koksijde. Before we said goodbye to our guides we handed over our “thank you” presents before leaving the airbase. Many thanks to Adjudant Sys Rino and his wingman for making this visit possible. And for guiding us around with much enthusiasm.

 

 

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