Sanicole 2022

The day began early in the morning at a train station in North Rhine-Westphalia. After Maxi, Aurelius and I had arrived, we left the train station in the direction of Kleine-Brogel air base. We arrived around 7:30am, there was already a line at the door. The gates were opened at 8 a.m. sharp and we were allowed to enter the Kleine Brogel air base. Bad news spread while we waited, the announced F22 from Lask was cancelled. After we got through security, we were able to check out the Static machines as there was still enough time. At around 10 a.m. the first demo of the Belgian NH90 display team started. The weather was very bad, it often rained during the program. After the NH90 was completed, smaller demo teams start at Kleine Brogel and flew a rehearsel over Sanicole. Next one was a RNLAF Apache. He made 2 approaches and then continued to Sanicole. After the Apache, the BAF's A400 took off for the first time and returned 30 minutes later. Then nothing happened for a long time , until Vrieske the display pilot from the BAF, got ready for his solo display at the Kleine Brogel spotter day. Vrieske had to fly his bad weather display because of the bad weather conditions the clouds was too low. Nevertheless, the display was one of the best of Spotterday. After Vrieske, the BAF A109 Display Team showed what they could do with a display and then flew back to Sanicole. Then the A400 went out for the last time for another short flight over Belgium and came back with an overhead brake. Then it was the Red Devils' turn and they showed what they could do with their SF260 Marchettis. Other small machines came back from Sanicole. And after a short break came the highlight of the spotter day, the Thundertigers, a performance demonstration by 4 F16 pilots from Kleine Brogel. They made several 4 ship approaches with e.g. gear down, gear up, brake and high speed passes. After the official presentation was over, the 4 F16s turned up the heat again and all did the hard-working low app, which made the spotters very happy. Shortly before they were finished, we unfortunately had to leave in order to arrive in Sanicole on time. So we ran to the car and drove off, at that moment the USAF F35 with a P51 and the Dream Viper depart out for a photo shoot. This moment was very annoying. After we Arrived at the parking lot for Sanicole it suddenly started to storm and rain. When we got to the car park on the ridge, the air show was already start and the BAF's A400 turned overhead several times to get to the air show. Since we had to wait a long time for the bus, we also missed the demo of the Swiss F18 pilot Fönsi, who flew despite a thunderstorm. When we finally arrived at the airshow, the W3 of the Czechs was already flying its display, That ended exactly when entering the premises. After the W3, it was the turn of the Saudi Hawks, who unfortunately broke off because of the bad weather, but still made an overflight. The thunderstorm slowly passed and the next was the PC-21 of the Armee de la air they flew a 2 ship display, which was very nice to look at. Unfortunately it kept raining. Next one was the Air Belgium's A330Neo for 2 low passes. Suddenly the weather got better and better and just in time for the A330N we had a very nice light with a nice contrast. After the A330N came the highlight of the Sanicole Airshow 2022, the USAF F35 Demo Team with MRS. Wolf as the first female F35 demo pilot. The visitors were amazed by the strong performance and wanted to see a lot more of it. The highlight was the dedication pass where she flew the F35 once 180 degrees passt around the croud, a lot of vortex came on the F35, which created dream pictures. After the F35 said goodbye, the Turkish Stars came with their F5. They flew an amazingly close display with many beautiful maneuvers. It also hit the light just as well as the Air Belgium 330 and F35, a beautiful contrast to the F5. During the Turkish Stars it slowly got darker and it was time for flares. But the first to depart was the Dutch Apache to Kleine Brogel. Then came the first demonstration with flares, the A109 of the BAF, which also flew on the spotter day, showed its ability with many flares and beautiful maneuvers. After the A109 landed it was almost pitch black when the Dream Viper shot up and enchanted the fans with the long afterburner in the dark. With the afterburner Vrieske got the night and also made several maneuvers with flares which unfortunately were flown very far away. The last two propeller machines came, they had pyrotechnics on their wings, they enchanted the night sky of Sanicole and finished the programm of Sanicole 2022. The last goal was to photograph the standing Sea King of the German Navy , and then we took the bus back to the parking lot.

My Facit:
Despite the bad weather, we were in a good mood. Unfortunately, the traffic at Spotterday was a little weak, but the Thundertigers and Vrieske saved it a little. Unfortunately, the organization of the parking spaces in Sanicole 2022 was a disaster, many people had to wait a long time in the pouring rain for the bus that was supposed to take us to Sanicole. Despite the thunderstorm and short showers again and again, but the show was very nice with many differents aircraft, and especially the Turkish Stars and the USAF F35 demo as highlights.

This was my report from Sanicole 2022, the next Sanicole Airshow will not take place again until 2024, next year there will be BAF Day in Kleine Brogel again :)

Written by Lukas (@planespotter_lukas)