The end of Tweety

After about 55 years of flying the Dutch SAR Squadron, 303 SQN, ceased to exist on the 15th of January. And with the disappearance of the squadron, also its AB-412 remains grounded. The squadron is yet another victim of continuing cuts in the budgets of air forces all around the world. With the end of ‘Tweety’, as these yellow birds were called, it’s the ideal time to look back at a photoflight we did with one of these helicopters.

Overhead Sanicole airfield. If you look closely you’ll see the Belgian A-109 display, Breitling wingwalkers and the Skyvan in the background.

The flight with the AB-412 was just one of the many flights I did, as a member of the Aviation Photocrew, during the arrivals of the Sanicole Airshow back in 2010. The report of that week is still online at our website. For me it was the first time I photographed a helicopter during a photoflight. So it was quite an experience. The photoship was also a first for me as I had never done a flight in a Jet Ranger before, but I must say it’s a very nice photoship and luxurious to say the least.

A difficult task in a densely populated country like Belgium. But here’s the AB-412 above nothing but nature.

With the going of these yellow helicopters, these pictures get a little more special to me and it shows once more that you can never take any photoflight for granted.

The three yellow birds are already sold to Peru, so they’ll get a second life.

30-2 g
As you might notice all pictures show the same side of the helicopter but this is due to the fact we had two photographers in the Jet Ranger.

27g 28g


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