TEAM MEMBERS

  DISPLAY PILOT

 

Majoor Roland “Wally” Blankenspoor (37)

This year Major Roland “Wally” Blankenspoor is pilot-in-command and captain of the Apache Solo Display Team. “Wally” has been flying for the Royal Netherlands Air Force since 1997. Currently he flies for No. 301 Squadron of Gilze-Rijen Air Base and is also Head of Current Operations. In this function he is responsible for the daily planning and execution of the flight operations for No. 301 Squadron.

Major Blankenspoor has logged approximately 2,700 flight hours, with 2,200 on the Apache.

For the 2011 season “Wally” took over command from Major Laporte who has left the Apache Solo Display Team. Major Blankenspoor built up experience flying the demo as first officer and is now pilot-in-command together with his first officer Captain Paul “Wokkel” Webbink.

 


   DISPLAY PILOT

 

Kapitein Paul ‘Wokkel’ Webbink (30)

Captain Webbink has been flying the Apache since 2001 and this is his second season with the Apache Solo Display Team. “Wokkel” is now one of the flight instructors of the AH-64D for the Training Office of No. 299 Squadron at Gilze-Rijen Air Base. His total flight experience is about 1,800 hours, of which 1,600 on the Apache.

“Wokkel” supports “Wally” during the demo by continuously selecting maximum power. Doing this, “Wally” is able to focus on flying the manoeuvres. There are standard speed limits and altitudes for every manoeuvre and during the demo “Wokkel” tells “Wally” at which moment he can enter the next manoeuvre. This is a form of cooperation between the pilots that is unique to the show. It takes a lot of time and training to match this.

For the 2011 season “Wokkel” took over the job of first officer from “Wally”. By this rotation the experience remains within the team, while the knowledge about the manoeuvres is retained within the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

 


   TEAM COACH

 

Kapitein Martijn “Pokon” de Jong (33)

Captain De Jong joined the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1999 and has been flying the Apache since 2001. This is his second season with the Apache Solo Display Team. Since 2009 “Pokon” has been working as a flight instructor on the AH-64D for the Training Office at No. 299 Squadron at Gilze-Rijen Air Base. His total flight experience is about 1,700 hours, of which 1500 on the Apache.

The coaches of the team support the show from the ground by judging the execution and safety. If anything goes wrong during the show they will support and inform the pilots.

The coaches also take care of the administration on the ground and are responsible for the preparation of the shows during the season.

 

 


   TEAM COACH 

 

Kapitein Job “Blow” Verberg (27)

Captain Job “Blow” Verberg has been flying the Apache since 2005, and this is his first season with the Apache Solo Display Team. “Blow” has been stationed with No. 301 Squadron since 2008, with the “Diablo” flight. He has a total flight experience of about 1000 hours, of which 800 on the Apache.

The coaches of the team support the show from the ground by judging the execution and safety. If anything goes wrong during the show he will support and inform the pilots.

The coaches also take care of the administration on the ground and are responsible for the preparation of the shows during the season.

 


   CHIEF TECHNICAL TEAM 

 

Sergeant-major Peter Klootwijk (40)

Sergeant Major Klootwijk joined the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1991. He has been with No. 301 Squadron since 1996. He started as a specialist in the early days on the A-model Apache helicopter.

Sergeant Major Klootwijk is now chief of the technical team and chief maintenance of the Apache Solo Display Team. Besides that he is also a debriefer. After the flight the pilots report the technical state of the helicopter to him.

Sergeant Major Klootwijk has been deployed seven times, i.e. to Djibouti, Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is his second year with the team.

 

 


    SPECIALIST AVIONICS

 

Sergeant-Major Erwin Veenstra(37)

Sergeant Major Veenstra joined the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1997. He started as a specialist Avionics and got promoted in 2004 to sergeant major.

In the team he functions as chief Avionics and is responsible for keeping the Apache’s electronics and IT systems in perfect order. He is also one of the debriefers at No. 301 Squadron.

Sergeant Major Veenstra has been deployed six times, i.e. to Djibouti, Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is his first year with the team.

 

 


    SPECIALIST AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE

 

Sergeant first class Joey Boertjes (32)

Sergeant First Class (SFC) Boertjes joined the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1996. In 1998 he was stationed as maintenance assistant at No. 301 Apache Squadron. After finishing his technical training, he became specialist maintenance for the Apache at Gilze-Rijen Air Base.

In the Apache Solo Display Team, SFC Joey functions as specialist maintenance. As crew chief he is responsible for the execution of the inspections, before, between and after the flights. Together with the coach, SFC Boertjes is responsible for the PR of the team.

SFC Boertjes has been deployed six times to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is his second year with the team.

 

 


    SPECIALIST AVIONICS

 

Sergeant first class Benno Vlijm (27)

Sergeant First Class (SFC) Vlijm started his career with the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 2005. From the beginning on he has been stationed at No. 301 Squadron as specialist Avionics.

His job within the team is as specialist avionics. Together with Sergeant Major Veenstra he is responsible for keeping the Apache electronics and IT systems in perfect order.

Sergeant First Class Vlijm has been deployed four times to Afghanistan.

This is his second year with the team.

 

 


     

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