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Belgian F-16 pilot was “airborne for 208 days”

History was written at the Kleine Brogel air force base in Limburg on Friday when Senior Captain Steven De Vries notched up 5,000 flying hours in an F-16 fighter jet.  Only five American pilots have ever accomplished this feat.

The achievement by Vrieske as he is affectionately known by his colleagues was celebrated by a formation flight above the air base shared with the Americans.

“For me this was a flight like any other” intimated the Senior Captain.  “We will carry out the exercises we do on any flight.”

Vrieske is the only Belgian air force pilot to have reached this milestone that works out at 208 days nonstop in the air. The Senior Captain, who is 48, isn’t minded to retire just yet.  “I am in my prime” he told VRT. “I work on my condition to be able to continue flying.”

“Updates on this aircraft, new sensors and new weapons are an incentive.  I enjoy sharing my experience with young pilots”

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