Tag Archives: Malta International Airport

Here Are The Highlights Of Malta International Airshow 2017

Once again, the traditional airshow brought several interesting visitors to Malta.

On Sept. 23 and 24, Malta hosted the yearly airshow over Smart City that gathered many interesting aircraft, including some exotic attendeeds, rarely seen at airshows around Europe.

Among them, one of the three Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornets of the 433 Squadron deployed to Solenzara airbase, Corse, to take part in Serpentex 2017 exercise alongside the RAF Tornado GR4s of the IX(B) Sqn deployed to Decimomannu, Sardinia (two of those took part in the static display at Malta Luqa airport).

Other interesting visitors were the “Turkish Stars” and accompanying A400M, the RAF Hawk T2, the “Saudi Hawks”, the German Navy P-3 and the Alpha Jet Solo Display.

In this post you can find some of the most interesting aircraft that took part in the airshow, photographed by aviation photographer Estelle Calleja.

A Turkish Air Force A400 supported the deployment to Malta of the NF-5 of the Turkish Stars display team.

The AlphaJet Solo Display was one of the highlights of the show. The French Air Force brought back the Alpha Jet Solo Display, it shut down in 2012.

The AW.139 helicopter and the King Air B200 of the Armed Forces of Malta Air Wing.

The Leonardo AW.139 of the Guardia di Finanza (Custom Police) was the only Italian participant this year.

The Royal Canadian Air Force took part in the airshow with one CF-188 Hornet of the 433 Squadron deployed to Solenzara for the Serpentex 2017 exercise.

One of the two RAF British Aerospace Hawk T2 ZK022 of 4(R)Sqn based at Valley.

A P-3C Cup Orion of the Marineflieger about to land in Malta Luqa airport.

A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon from VP-16 took part in the airshow. The aircraft is deployed to Sigonella airbase, Sicily, Italy, from where it conducts missions over the Black Sea and off Syria.

The Hawk Mk65 of the Saudi Hawks, the aerobatic team of the Royal Saudi Air Force.

A Tornado GR4 from IX Sqn. The unit was temporarily deployed to Decimomannu, Italy, to take part in Serpentex 2017.

One of the NF-5A Freedom Fighters of the Turkish Air Force aerobatic team “Turkish Stars”.

 

Image credit: Estelle Calleja

Specially-configured Metroliner aircraft involved in surveillance operations in Libya crashes shortly after takeoff from Malta

Chilling dashcam video shows a Fairchild SA227-AT Expediter crashing after takeoff from Malta killing 5 people on board.

On Oct. 24, a twin-prop Fairchild Metroliner aircraft, in a special configuration required to undertake surveillance missions, crashed shortly after takeoff from Malta International Airport at 07.20AM LT.

The SA227-AT, painted overall grey and carrying civil registration N577MX, is one of two such aircraft (the other being N919CK, that carries a different surveillance suite) is operated by the Luxemburg-based CAE Aviation on behalf of the French government for missions in Africa.

A dashcam captured the last few seconds of the flight: the aircraft can be seen banking (seemingly to the left) before crashing into the ground in the video posted on Facebook (beware, it can be considered graphic content).

The French MoD confirmed the aircraft was involved in a surveillance operation and that three defense ministry officials and two private contractors were killed in the incident.

The aircraft was reportedly involved in tracing routes of illicit trafficking, both of humans and drugs, along the more than 1,200 km of Libyan coastline: indeed, N577MX was part of a fleet of sensor-filled planes involved in intelligence gathering missions in North Africa along with several other special missions aircraft in civil disguise (whose tracks are often exposed by their Mode-S transponders.)

Such para-military, unconventional spyplanes operate from airbases in the Mediterranean Sea (including Malta, that is one of the main operating bases considered the proximity to the area of operations) performing a wide variety of clandestine tasks, sometimes in support of special forces on the ground, including hunting ISIS terrorists.

Image credit: courtesy Ruben Zammit

 

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Exotic planes, Special Colors and Display Teams at the Malta International Air Show 2014

The yearly Malta International Airshow at Luqa airport, once again proved to be one of the most interesting events in southern Europe.

Held at Malta International Airport in the weekend of Sept. 27-28, the traditional Malta International Airshow featured some really interesting visitors.

EAF C-130

Among the highlights of this year’s edition, the K-8E jet and C-130H Hercules cargo plane of the Egyptian Air Force, the German Navy P-3C, the AW139 of the Italian Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard), the BN2 and Alouette helicopter of the Armed Forces of Malta and the G550 AEW aircraft of the Israeli Air Force.

Egyptian AF K8

Noteworthy, during the Sunday’s Finale, the Red Arrows display team made a flypast escorting an Air Malta A320.

Photographer and The Aviationist’s contributor Estelle Calleja took the following interesting pictures of the airshow.

Image credit: Estelle Calleja

 

Malta International Airshow 2013 highlights

Held on the Sept. 29 – 30 weekend, the yearly Malta International Airshow at Luqa airport, featured once again some interesting attendees.

Among the highlights of the 2013 edition, the C-130J-30 Super Hercules of the Qatari Emiri Air Force that had taken part to last year’s airshow as well, the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 and Tornado GR4, and the German Navy special colored P-3C.

Noteworthy, during the Sunday’s Finale, the Red Arrows display team made a flypast with the white and red smokes as a special salute to the Maltese people.

Estelle Calleja took the following interesting pictures of the airshow.

Image credit: Estelle Calleja

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Rare Venezuelan Air Force’s Chinese tactical cargo plane makes an appearance in Malta

On Sept. 17, a quite rare visitor made an appearance at Malta International Airport: a Venezuelan Air Force Shaanxi Y-8F-200.

Wearing new special markings on tail promoting the “Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our Americas” (ALBA) the Y-8F (with radio callsign FAV0102) is one of the eight such plane purchased by Caracas in 2012.

The aircraft is a Chinese development of the Soviet Antonov An-12 tactical transport plane assigned to the Grupo Aéreo de Transporte No.6 based at the Base Aérea El Libertador at Palo Negro.

The reason of the Venezuela Air Force plane’s unusual stopover in the middle of Mediterranean Sea is still unknown.

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Image credit: Malcolm Bezzina

 

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