Zeus F-16 Demo Team - Belgian Air Force Days 13&14 September 2014
Article by Levente Benedek
This year 2014, the Hellenic Air Force’s Demo Team, the Zeus, participated at the Belgian Air Force Day, marking the 100th years anniversary of the Belgian Air Component. Their participation also marked another anniversary. 40 years ago the YF-16 was chosen as the next multi-role jet of the USAF, which later became a highly successor jet in other countries, more than 4000 were made as of it today. The Hellenic Air Force operates the F-16 since 1989, and it is the backbone of the HAF, were 7 squadrons use several variants.
At Kleine –Brogel besides Greece, 5 other countries participated with their F-16’s, which included, Denmark, Portugal, Turkey, The Netherlands and of course the Belgian Air Component.
On Friday was the press/spotter day where most of the planes arrived for static or dynamic display. Some of the highlights were two USAFE F-15 from Lakenheath, the Hungarian Air Force’s An-26 support plane, the Norwegian P-3 Orion, the Portugese F-16 and the F-16 demo jets fly-by.
Sadly from the last event the Zeus was missing. Due to technical problem one of the planes had, both jets had to land at Aviano, and their arrival was questioned. Luckily, but several hours late, all two F-16’s arrived safely, and the rest of the crew opened quickly their kiosk for the fans. Altough the Greeks arrival was late for the F-16’s fly-by and could not participate, but on the land the new Zeus patch was sold so quickly on the first day, that they were not able to have it for the weekend, showing us and the team, how well known they are and loved by many.
On Saturday the jinx followed the Zeus again. Their early demo had to be canceled because of heavy fog, and the organizers did not had the time slot for the Zeus in the afternoon, so the newly painted F-16 still had to wait for it’s Belgian debut. Still, the crew and the pilots were welcomed by the people who were looking for souvenirs at the kiosk and kids were asking for autograph of the demo pilot.
On Sunday morning, the heavy fog attacked Kleine-Brogel again, delaying lot of flying, but around 1 o’clock, the Zeus roared the sky of Belgium!
Another fine airshow passed another event the Zeus participated. The crew and the pilots faced a lot of problems during their way for the airshow and had to deal with cancelation of the program on Saturday, possibly Belgian Air Force Days won’t be remembered as an easy weekend, but this also shows the HAF readiness for everything. Even though this is a show for the people, for the Zeus team, it is serious at the backstage as well.
See you next time, thank you for your kindness.
by Levente Benedek & Oliver Dom