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From January until May 1979


On January 1979 ; after 2 weeks of holidays, we're back to the courses again. We notice right away that we are less numerous… half the initial people have left after the first examination.
In our class,Thierry Gehenot had to leave ; the remaining five go on. 

There are 5 months of effort left to reach the end of our training. The rate of courses is quite high and we need to study every day to be able to keep up.
Two hours of study in our class rooms are mandatory from 6.30 p.m. until 8.30 p.m ; an NCO  monitor the study, silence is mandatory !
After that, we go back to the barracks, then relaxation and washing, lights are shut at 10 p.m.

  • At 6 a.m., a new day starts…

Until now, the waking up was done by our instructor : the Sergeant Y.Jordan.
At 6 a.m. sharp, he woke us up everyday bluntly, switching the lights on and shouting : “Attention !”.

A short inspection of the room is quickly performed while the students are standing at attention at their beds. 

Now that we all are commissioned to the rank of corporal, the discipline is eased a bit and we are only woken up by the sound of the horn…

We have 20 minutes for bathing, we need to be ready for our chores at 7 a.m.
A chore was assigned to us in the beginning of the year. For me it's the cleaning of a long corridor in the bloc 13 until December. In January I will have to clean our room.

Our day is scheduled as follows: 

  • From 07.00 am until 07.30 am: chores
  • From 07.30 am until 08.00 am: breakfast
  • From 08.00 am until 12.00 am: 4 x 50 minutes courses with a 10 min break
  • From 12.00 am until 12.30      : lunch
  • From 12.30       until 01.00 pm: free time
  • From 01.00 pm until 05.00 pm: 4 x 50 minutes courses with a 10 min break
  • From 05.00 pm until 05.30 pm : free time
  • From 05.30 pm until 06.30 pm : diner
  • From 06.30 pm until 08.30 pm : mandatory study

And so on…

The days and weeks follow each other very quickly ; all courses are very interesting as they are related to our future job as technicians.
The practical courses allow us to have an idea what working on aircraft is. We have a chance to discover tools (in inches), the procedures and the terminology (in English) ; by working on the aircraft and engines, we have at our disposal.
The RF-84F Thunderflash and Wright J65 engines, which certainly are not the newest, but nevertheless allow us to familiarize with aeronautical technology.
Our friends from the Light Aviation Force meet the Dornier Do27J-1.

  • Picture Saff7905-01 & Saff7905-02 : One of the RF-84F (FR-31) at our disposal for our practical courses.
  • Picture Saff7905-03 : The FR-31 when it was operational with the 42 Sqn. On this picture, it flies over Liège, above Sart-Tilman. (The nose points towards Grivegnée while the the stabilizer points to the Sacré-Coeur in Cointe)
  • Picture Saff7905-05 : The FR-32 (42 Sqn) at Bierset in 1970. (The FR-32 is actually preserved at the 1Wing Historical Center - 1WHC

May is now coming quickly, and with it the time for the end of year one examinations and for us the end of our training at the Technical School. 

After 2 weeks of examinations, we're almost out of the woods. We quickly receive our results, which are very satisfactory.

We all 5 receive our certificates as aircraft technicians, three of us with “distinction” and two with “satisfaction”.

Below, the charts 1979, showing the results of all the entire group graduating on 1978-1979 (French and Dutch speaking).
The results of our class (A2-78-12F) are on page 14 of the document.

pdfPALMARES 1979.pdf

We are now commissioned to the rank of Sergeant.
We also receive very quickly our assignments ; in our case we have no alternatives possible. The three Air Force members  (Bonfond-Dauchot-Lamock) are expected to move to Beauvechain in September to follow the conversion course on F-16 engines. 

The two members of the Light Aviation Force are expected to be trained as multirole technicians (engine and airframe) on Alouette II and Britten Norman Islander. 


We therefore destined to become engine technicians...

In the Air Force, there are five different types of aircraft technicians : Airframe - Engine – Electricital – Avionics – Weapon.
The training, we received as complementary A2, allows us to become Engine or Airframe specialist. In our case, we will become Engine specialists. 

Now it’s party time, we make a few pictures of the group ; our room leader, Jan Languillier (A2-77-5F) entertains the evening with Patrick Carpentier (A2-78-10F). Gérard Adam and Christain Cholot (12F) joins them.



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