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2008 Night flying at Leeuwarden air base

Updated: Feb 3, 2018

As soon as the days get shorter Air Forces train their pilots to fly under darkness with Night Vision Goggles (NVG). Frank Visser visited 323 TACTESS at Leeuwarden air base to see how squadron trains their pilots.

NVG-device which can be mounted on the helmet.

An F-16 pilot of 323 TACTESS preparing for its night flying mission.

The NVG is mounted on the helmet. Testing of the NVG is done in total darkness.

Flying with these NVG requires a lot of exercise in order to work properly and safely.

A lot of training takes place in a flight simulator, but in practice that is also necessary. The training courses take place both above the sea and above the Netherlands.

The RNLAF is switching towards the new HMCS helmet see on this photo. As the shape of this helmet is different from its per successor the RNLAF is still working out how to mount the NVG on this type of helmet.

Outside 323 TACTESS a SU-20 is parked. With NVG it looks like this.

Pilot and crew chiefs prepare for the coming night mission.

With his foot on the ladder an F-16 pilot of 323 TACTESS is about to climb into the cockpit.

With the engine running lights in the shelter are dimmed and this F-16AM of 323 TACTESS is about to depart towards the runway at Leeuwarden air base.

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