336 Squadron "Olympos" recently has participated into a big event in the Netherlands and especially in Volkel Air Base. A big fan of 336 Squadron describes the experience of meeting a real Corsair from near distance. He is Kevin and not only a big fan of 336 Squadron but also the man who triggered the request for their participation in the Air Show at Volkel.
Feel free to enjoy his journey ...
THE CELEBRATION OF 100 YEARS MILITARY AVIATION AT VOLKEL AB, THE NETHERLANDS.
KEVIN VAN DER SLUIS' TRIP REPORT
13 JUNE 2013
It all started in the early morning when I was waiting for details of the (2x) HAF A-7 Corsair arrivals at Volkel AB. Luckily I have friends in Greece which were able to give me current updates for the A-7 departure. They could even tell that the black A-7 “Olympos”would come. Could it get any better?? I would see Hellenic A-7s roar over Volkel AB, including my favourite A-7 within 336SQ!! I figured out I needed 1½ hour to get to Volkel AB and the A-7s at approximately 2 hours from Araxos AB so I had to get ready…
09:48 local time assuming that they have already taken off, prepared with my camera and wearing my 336SQ flight jacket, I was able to drive off seconds later. I arrived at 11:33 local time and desperately was looking for the right spot to have a nice view on the runway. Finally I managed to reach a perfect spot at a guard fence, but I had to go through a crops field first.
There were a dozen people at that particular spot and heard them say the A-7s still had to arrive. “YESSSS, I mad it on time!!” After being 15 minutes at the spot it happened. First a TA-7C came in at low level and a few seconds later “Olympos”. Due to the relative high fence I had difficulties getting the pictures at their final approach but I managed to focus and take pictures. After seeing some other planes arrive at Volkel AB I went home. I had seen the A-7s in action and that definitely worth the trip!
14 JUNE 2013
Again I woke up in the early morning to drive to Volkel AB, this time for the official show. At approximately 06:45 my father and I drove off. Short after we arrived at Volkel AB one of my RNLAF contacts called on my cell phone, saying he had arrange a military vent and we should be able to get close to the A-7s for a short moment. I remember I told my father to shoot as many pictures as he could from me and “Olympos”
After the VIP treatment we were returned to our starting Point and continued to see the other planes on static. This time behind the barriers.
Finally we decided to setup our camp close to the HAF A-7s in the grass and watch the show.
During the show I saw 336SQ crew doing some checks at the A-7s so I decided to take a closer look. Perhaps I could make a picture with them…..
YESSSSS!!!! I met the A-7 pilots!! After the pictures I decided to take a short walk on the Air Base, just to see if 336SQ was present at the promotion stands. After seeing almost every stand twice I found a small table covered with a flag from Hellas and 336SQ crew all around it. This was my lucky day!!! When I came close I noticed they saw me coming, most probable due to my t-shirt. I had a chat with the crew and had a great time. I think they liked my 336SQscarf as well.
Of course I bought some 336SQ stuff and received a nice poster. To my surprise they asked me to come back later. If security would allow it, they would take me to “Olympos” to sit inside the plane.
WOWWW…. Sit in “Olympos”…. Really??.....
When I returned a little later at the spot where I left my father, I told him what just happened. I think he also couldn’t believe it himself. After some time I returned to the promotion stand and they took me on a magical ride…
After the pictures I couldn’t thank the crew enough for their gift!!!! I wouldn’t forget this ride… NEVER!!!! I proudly returned home. I can’t remember when I stopped smiling…. The next day?
With this trip report I’d like to thank all people who made the presence of HAF 336SQ and their A-7 Corsairs possible. It gave me great personal happiness to see the A-7 so closely and met such a kind and dedicated crew!!!
THANK YOU ALL
Kevin van der Sluis