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Czech International Air Fest 2007. 10/15/2007


CIAF 2007 (Czech International Air Fest 2007) was held on Brno airport on September 8th and 9th 2007. CIAF is an international air display which is organised every year, on the first week of September. Brno is the largest city in Moravia, the lovely southern part of Czech Republic that is famous for its white wine and its proximity to Austerlitz battle site. Before 1991, the airport site was mainly a military airfield that was seldom used with a few MiG-21s. Although military hangars still exist on the northern part of the field, it has now been an international airport for five years with airlines business still growing on. As examples, CSA airlines link Brno to Praha and Ostrava airports nearly every day, and it is possible to fly to London-Stanstead with Ryanair...

L ast year, in our CIAF 2006 report - in this ' airshow ' section - we felt concerned with CIAF's future on that airport, due to difficulties to run the show on a site that has to deal with commercial air traffic activities. But according to the airport authorities, Brno airshow should be a secure event for a few years to come and let's congratulate them.
The ' Czech Airshow Agency ' gathered military airplanes and helicopters from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Austria, Italy, France, UK, and the United States of America. Noticeably a superb NATO E-3D Sentry AWACS attracted the static display visitors who were cueing to visit it. The static display B-1 B was the attraction that received most advertising features from local media. This was also the case with a C-17 that was the first of its kind to take part to an airshow in this Central Europe country. Apart from the Czech Air Force, only Belgium, Slovakia and Serbia displayed aircraft in the flying program.


A ll Czech services took part in the flying display. The Air Force performed a flypast with 3 x Jas- 39 Gripen, 3 x L-159, 3 x Mil Mi-171, 3 x Mi-24/35, one A-319 CJ, and one Tu-154. Two L-159s performed a superb airfield attack using flares, and explosive items were ignited to simulate bomb runs. A Sokol W-3A performed a rescue mission, and the Czech Police also displayed its newest Bell 412 delivering Police special units. Merta who is the Czech Air Force Jas-39 display pilot demonstrated the excellent Gripen flying capabilities better than the Swedish used to in the past ten years. A Mil Mi-24/35 also loaded with flares... also impressed the public.

S trangely enough, Serbia displayed many airplanes in that new NATO country airshow and we could highly praise serbian pilots skills to perform aerobatics flying. A Soko G4 Super Galeb G4 from the Serbian Air Force was second to none to perform tailslides. A Soko J-22 Orao - probably from Batajnica airfield - performed 'quite' a crazy low level pass over the airfield, and could scratch our ears with its two Turbomécanica Viper Mk-632-41R (or Mk-633-41) turbojets unusual noise when reheating. More lovely air displays from Serbia came with the Galeb G2 ' Hvezdy ' Acrobatic Group from Cenej airfield's ' Aero Club Galeb G4 ' . These four Galeb G2s are flown by four former pilots from the ex ' Flying Stars ' military national team. The ' Flying Stars ' ceased to fly in 1999. They are still officers of the Serbian Air Force and they fly with their civilian ' Hvezdy ' Group during their spare time only. ' Hvezdy ' Group's leader is Colonel Sasa Ristic who joined Batajnica Flight Test Center in 2004.


C ongratulations to Cdt Michael 'Mickey' Artiges for his F-16 MLU solo display. Mickey used many flares during most of his whole flying demo. We also enjoyed much to watch a superb MiG-29 solo demo by Lt Col Martin "Mates" Hronec from the Slovak Air Force, once more with flares that were launched at the beginning of a tail slide. We elect this Slovak Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum display as the best overall in that event. People of Moravia seemed to be excited with the six Breitling Jet Team L-39s taking part to that airshow for their first time. Jacques Bothelin and his team pilots took profit of the rare glimpse of sun on Sunday to please everyone. Breitling Jet Team was one of only two aerobatic Groups to perform in this year's CIAF with the Serbian ' Hvezdy ' Team.


C IAF event is not only a question of international air display. Monday's aircraft departures is part of the 'show' as each ('static' of 'flying') participant has to take off and come back over the airfield with a special flypast of 'his own'. So after leaving, most jets fly and break low other the airport that it is always Sky-Lens'Aviation' 's pleasure to photograph these special 'low flyings' that would never be allowed over most other European Union airfields for 'safety' rules reasons.
We are looking forward to visit next year's CIAF 2008 at Brno, and many thanks to the airport and CIAF organisers and authorities for their warm welcome.




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