Cancelled F-16 flyout Leeuwarden 1st of July

Actually, on July 1, the last remaining F-16s of 322 Squadron were to withdraw their F-16s from Leeuwarden Air Base and fly to Volkel. Only the aircraft needed for the currently running Weapon Instructor Course (WIC) were to remain at the base. A final formation flyover of the base and Soesterberg airfield was planned before the final landing in Volkel.

But everything turned out differently on this July morning: At about 9:22 a conspicuously loud engine noise was heard from a Belgian F-16 single seater (probably FA-130), which were stationed in Leeuwarden for the WIC. A short time later, a loud bang and a large column of smoke could be seen. In a split second, the ACES II ejection seat was visible in the air. The seat-man separation worked and so the pilot landed by parachute in the railing of the air force base, the seat outside in a field. The Belgian pilot suffered a broken leg and was transported to the hospital, two other people of the maintenance personnel on the ground were also slightly injured. The cause is believed to be an engine problem, which caused the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220E turbofan engine to briefly go into afterburner and roll over the brake pads toward the nearby building. After the pilot unsuccessfully attempted to brake, he elected to make an ejection. The F-16 then continued to taxi into the building unmanned.

The farewell of the Dutch F-16s from Leeuwarden airfield, which was actually scheduled for this day, was canceled and was held on a smaller scale on July 5, 2021. As a result, 322 Squadron will operate only the new F-35A Lightning II at the airfield, apart from the Dutch F-16s still assigned to WIC.

On the next day (July 2nd), the flying schedule was rather small. Only two F-35A Lightning II (F-017 and F-018) aircraft of the RNLAF took off at approximately 10:30. These are the newest Lightnings at Leeuwaden, delivered at 25.03. and 25.05.2021 from Final Assembly and Check-​Out (FACO) line at Cameri (Italy).

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