Fly In Time: Sanicole / Zwartberg / Keiheuvel/ Zoersel / Kiewit
If you live in the North-North East of Belgium, you can visit a lot of Fly Ins during the summer season that don’t need much traveling time. You can lunch at home on Saturday, drive to the Fly In, talk to some colleagues and friends, walk the flight line and take some photographs. You will be home again in time to light the barbecue for another summer evening diner in the garden. There is a chance that nobody of your family, except for the dog, has even noticed your absence.
These Fly Ins are held at Sanicole, Zwartberg, Keiheuvel, Zoersel and Kiewit. There is even another one in the region: Schaffen. But this Fly In is from another dimension and needs more time to get a good impression of it. Two full days are recommended here. Although you see several aircraft again and again at different places, every Fly In has his unique atmosphere and has visitors that only can be seen on that location. A visit to a particular place also gives you the opportunity to catch up with the changes on the based aircraft that have taken place during the dark season.
Sanicole Experimental Days/EFLEVA Fly In 29/06 – 01/07/18
This is a Fly In only for pilots and real enthusiasts. A lot of ‘exotic’ experimental aircraft can be seen here. The weather was very good here so for the first time they had quite a lot of visitors from every corner of Europe. We counted 48 UK registered aircraft, 5 from Ireland and even 7 from Sweden. Other countries represented were Austria, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy.
Coolest fly-by: Pilatus PC7 N60LT
Most interesting visitor: Rutan Long EZ LN-HPD
What we will remember from this edition: the hot weather
Here you have the presence of a few based warbirds and Pilatus aircraft. Unfortunately, the based Lockheed Electra was damaged the week before the event and was kept away from the public in a hangar as was the door of the hangar it run into. They had several visitors both on Saturday and Sunday including 4 Harvards (N4109C, N59TS, D-FUKK and PH-IIB), a Spitfire Mk.XVI (OO-XVI) and a Klemm KL-25D (D-EKDJ).
Coolest fly-by: Rockwell Turbo Commander 690A N892WA
Most interesting visitor: Lake LA-4-200EP Buccaneer
What we will remember of this edition: the mixed Pilatus and Commander formation
The local Beech 17 Staggerwing (NC18785) and Boeing Stearman (N5323N) attracted most of the attention of the crowds. It was a pity that the Pilatus P2 OO-PII, also based at Keiheuvel, was still at Ursel where it suffered a broken engine during Ursel Avia. Due to the heat and drought of the 2018 summer the airfield looked a bit like a desert. Maybe that was the reason for the lesser number of visitors that we are used to at Keiheuvel. Two Pilatus P.3 (F-AZHG and D-EPCI) made a nice low pass but didn’t land. Pitts G-INDI gave an aerobatic demonstration and did
a nice inverted fly by.
Coolest fly-by: Pitts S2A G-INDI
Most interesting visitor: Gazelle N341DT
What we will remember from this edition: the absence of the grass of the grass runway
This Fly In is known for its good selection of small visitors and warbirds that can use a large concrete runway. Al these aircraft are surrounded on the ground by purple hay that brightens up your photographs a bit. A few homebuilt aircraft under construction were also on show for the public.
Coolest fly-by Pilatus PC12 OO-NLT
Most interesting visitor: Yak 52 G-CBSL
What we will remember of this edition: the landing of the Spitfire Mk.XVI
A real Open Day as almost every hangar is open and every based aircraft can be seen. Here you can photograph a large amount of Belgian, German and French registered ultra light aircraft. Kiewit is home of a good selection of aerobatic aircraft of which two were newly imported: a Pitts Special with no registration on it (previously TF-UFT) and CAP 10B I-TONT.
Coolest fly-by: the Cesnna 335 N175KB
Most interesting visitor: CASA 1.111E Jungmann EC-DKC
What we will remember of this edition: the downpour at the end of the Red Devils show on Saturday
Apart from Sanicole every Fly In has his helicopter to do joyrides. Luckily this one was different at every event.
The Belgian Air Force was also present at some of the events. Their participation varied from a static Allouette III, F16 or SF260M to some fly by’s from the Red Devils Demonstration Team or an Embraer ERJ-145LR.
Text and photography: Luc Geys