Originally Posted by tomdocherty72
No response from anyone in the BAF yet. Is there anyone out there from the RAF who flew the type as an exchange pilot with the Belgians or at Boscombe Down with the few operated there?
FYI, the type has been operated from French soil near Cazaux for some time now and the machines are jointly maintained with other training assets, like the SF260.
As for the more hair-raising situations, I can only attest, from the ground, to seeing many a BAF two-ship flying their low-level runs over the country side when these were still permissible. During the cold war, BAF units were some of the only ones in NATO to train with 'no minimum'. This contributed to a very high accident rate among the Mirage V fleet (and crews) and initially with the F16s. The policy changed dramatically when some midairs were experienced with small civilian aircraft in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Gunnery training was then concentrated in Sardinia and much navigation training was conducted on early instrumented ranges in SW France and separately in Corsica.
One fun situation in 1990 was seeing a pair of F4s (non BAF and therefore illegally operating so low --my guess would be USN or USMC because of the apparent F4N and carrier color scheme) between the arches of the bridge on Brussels to Paris highway not five miles from SHAPE headquarters near Mons. It happened around 2:00AM and I can tell you that while the bridge was lit and there was a near full moon, as I was only 200 yards from crossing the bridge the planes got my FULL attention. As a pilot, I can appreciate the airmanship but the move was just 'ill-advised' to say the least.