An aircraft spotter used to be a very busy person, collecting as many registrations and/or pictures of aircraft as possible. When we (Hans and Frank) were young, we used to spend a lot of our free time waiting alongside the runways of Eindhoven air base hoping to spot some strange birds. Sometimes we were lucky, very often not. During holidays we therefore undertook many travels to nearby air force bases such as Volkel and Kleine Brogel, where we could satisfy our needs. You can find the results of these activities under the titles “Aircraft-Spotting by lucky chance“ and “Aircraft-Spotting during Air Events“.
IMPORTANT NOTE : until the Seventies of the last century aircraft-spotting near military airfields could be a tricky hobby and even to-day there are countries where the authorities do not appreciate this kind of activities , so let this also be a warning to you !
In the afternoon of October 19th , 1983 an aircraft-spotters meeting took place at Volkel AB . Hans was one of about two hundred enthusiasts who were present and took the opportunity to make pictures of some of the last operational Dutch (T)F-104 Starfighters of 306 squadron, 312 squadron & the All-Weather Flight (CAV) as well as some of the first General Dynamics F-16’s issued to nr. 311 squadron. An NF-5B from Eindhoven , a Dutch Navy Orion from Valkenburg and a Bölkow-105 helicopter made this well-spent afternoon complete.
November 16 ,1979. Extreme cold weather and dark clouds prevented the 25th anniversary of the American presence in Holland to be an enjoyable outdoor event. A small static display and an air display marked this historic milestone. A selective audience had been invited to attend this event at Camp New Amsterdam. Highlight of the static display was an ex-Portuguese AF Sabre. Applied with green stripes over the tail the aircraft had quickly been repainted in colours of 32nd FDS. The paint was still wet and USAF roundels were made of paper and sticked to the fuselage.
For a one-day excursion Hans made a flight in Fokker F-28 PH-MAT from Schiphol to Hahn Air Base in Germany on September 18th , 1978 . This base was the home of the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing , USAFE , equipped with F-4E Phantoms. The base was closed in 1993 and it is now called Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. A small impression of the day’s visit goes hereby. (special thanks to KNVOL for organizing this trip)
Frank visited Koksijde to report on the BAF 40th Squadron Heli (at that time equipped with 4 HSS-1/S-58 helicopters, three Alouette IIIs and five Sea King Mk.48’s); the Sea Kings had been delivered to Koksijde in November of the previous year. Another part of the field housed the storage center of the Belgian Air Force. Present there in January ’77 were about 20 C-119s, some C-47 Dakotas, Pembrokes and DC-6s. All the Pembrokes were stored in a hangar; they were in a splendid condition and sold somewhat later to various civil customers.
On March 5th , 1975 Hans and Frank visited Twenthe AB ; their photo-report gives a nice impression of a normal day’s flying activities at this former KLu -base during the early NF-5 period ; but don’t forget the F-86K on its pole!
Several times in the period January – August 1974 Frank was given the opportunity to picture the aircraft and helicopters of nr.300 squadron (K.Lu.) at Deelen AB.The shots are made both on the ground and air-to-air!
A squadron rotation took place at Leeuwarden AB in June 1973 between 323 sq. R.Neth.AF and nr.29 sq. RAF from Wattisham , equipped with Lightnings ; Frank visited this event on 19 June.
In May 1973 322 squadron , K.Lu. had a rotation (exchange-exercise) with 724 Esk of the Royal Danish AF, equipped with Hawker Hunters; there were 4 Hunters visiting Leeuwarden AB and Frank was there to take some pictures.
In May 1973 Leeuwarden AB was visited by 4 AJ-37 Viggens of the Swedish Air Force (plus a support Hercules); the aircraft were on their way to the Paris-Le Bourget airshow and stayed for an overnight stop. On the 22nd Frank was authorized to take some pictures of the aircraft.
On April 24th, 1973 a Photo Call was organized at Eindhoven Air Base which enabled the group of Eindhoven-spotters to photograph the resident Northrop-Canadair NF-5A/B fighter jets of 314 squadron (K.Lu.) Frank and Hans were present.