Name: Kristof Cloetens
Born: 4 November 1979
Profession: military pilot
Aerobatic plane: Extra 330 SC
270 hours aerobatics
1650 hours F-16
250 hours Alpha jet
1900 hours single engine piston
100 hours Helicopter
100 hours glider
3750 hours total flight hours
Types of aircraft flown: Extra 330SC, Extra 200, Extra 300, Cap 232, Pitts S-2A, Pitts S-2B, XtremeAir XA42, Edge 540, F-16, Alpha jet, PC21, SF 260, C152, C172, C182, C210, C337, PA 18, PA 44, TB 20, WT9, H300, K6, K8, K13, K21, twin 1, twin 2, jeans, Stemme S10
After an operational 8-year tour in the 349th Squadron on F-16, I decided to take up the challenge of becoming a military flying instructor, teaching our new student-pilots the joy and exhilaration of flying. With these new skills and different aspects of flying, I discovered I missed the feeling of high-G maneuvers, rolling and turning at over 360° per second and the thrill of seeking perfection in my own flying skills.
This is when I took up competition aerobatics in high performance light aircraft. And what a thrill that is! Over the years I climbed the ladder of the different categories of aerobatics, ending up in the ultimate category; the Unlimited class. I could never have done this alone. A special thanks goes out to Jean Emmanuel Antal who coached me from the beginning. His patience was put to the test, waiting for that loop to finally be round and those rolls not to vibrate at the stop. I also want to thank Pierre Varloteaux who has been such a great coach for me in these past two years.
From left to right: Kristof, Manu Antal, David Bouttefroid, Eric Schneider from Alsace Voltige.
Throughout this journey, numerous fellow aerobatic pilots eluded on the lack of training opportunities and competitions in Belgium. So for the last few years I’ve been engaged in organizing training camps, training sites and the co-organization of a Belgian Open Aerobatic Championship on a yearly basis in Koksijde. This competition would have never been possible without the hard work and expertise of the West Aviation Club and specifically Johan De Block.
Meanwhile, I’m putting my acquired knowledge of military fast jet flying and flight instruction in one new package as an instructor pilot and preparing for my next unlimited aerobatic challenge!