The RAF Waddington International Air Show 2014 will mark a number of significant anniversaries this year, celebrating the rich history of aviation in the UK and a number of nationally significant events. One that is close to the organising team’s hearts and perhaps not as widely known will be the return of one particular team.
The OV-10B Bronco Demo Team is a group of enthusiastic people who aim to demonstrate this unique aircraft type to the public. The North American Aviation Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is a turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s for counter insurgency (COIN) combat. One of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft in the Vietnam War.
Based at Kortrijk-Wevelgem airport in Belgium, the Team is centrally located in the heart of Europe. The OV-10 Bronco display pilot, Tony De Bruyn, is the driving force behind the project. Passionate about aviation since his early boyhood, Tony has been professionally involved in aviation since leaving school. A CPL(A) holder with over 4000 flying hours to his credit, he loves displaying the Bronco and showing the airplane to its best advantage; a rugged performer with awesome agility and fully aerobatic.
The Bronco Demo Team are returning to RAF Waddington following challenging times. On the 10th July 2012, just 9 days after the air show at RAF Waddington, Tony De Bruijn, was practicing his display routine over Kemble airfield in Gloucestershire, when the Bronco crashed and caught fire. Tony De Bruijn was badly injured with burns bur despite his injuries and with the support of his family and his loyal team, Tony has battled to make it back into the air, returning triumphantly to the controls earlier this year. Over the past 18 months and incredible amount of restoration work has made huge progress getting the Bronco ready for this year’s air show season.
Tony De Bruijn from the Bronco team said:
“We are back! Following a challenging last two years Bronco Demo Team are very glad and honoured indeed to return to the RAF Waddington International Air Show with our newly restored Bronco. We are looking forward to meeting, talking and thanking the many, many people who have encouraged and supported us so well over the recent testing times.”
Charles Skiera, the Deputy Display Coordinator said: ‘It is a great privilege to welcome the return of Tony, the Bronco, and the team back to Waddington. The team’s achievements, drive and personal determination to succeed in the face of such adversity is astounding. Their willingness to support the show both in the past and future is great and we are truly glad to see the team continue to prosper’.
This year’s RAF Waddington International Air Show will celebrate a number of milestones in the RAF history, including the Red Arrows’ 50th Display Season, 65th Anniversary of NATO, 70 years since the D-Day Landings and commemoration of the start of the First World War. Ticket sales began in November and are showing over 30% increase in sales from this time last year. For more information about the show, to book admission tickets or enclosure seats go to http://www.waddingtonairshow.co.uk/.