On Thursday evening 5 October 2017, the first participants of this trip departed by bus from Nijmegen. After a number of stops, including Luxembourg, we were complete with 25 participants. We had a luxury coach and after a prosperous (night) ride we arrived at the airport on Friday 6 October around 11:30. Our driver went to his hotel and we waited for our French bus to take us to the airport. After the access control we drove up the field and after a supplementary check of our items we were given another bus to the flight line. The flightline consisted of Patrouille de France, the Rafale demo team and some aircraft of GC01.002. Replicas of aircraft from the First World War were displayed in a big hangar. There were two CN-235s of ET62 on the ramp as Patrouille de Franc support, and soon two visitors arrived: two TB-30 Epsilons, which would leave again in the afternoon. Following a demo of an Extra 300C of EVAA, the anniversary of the death day was conducted.
After the official part, a series of demos took place: the Rafale, the Mirage 2000-5F in special color scheme, along with a TB-30 Epsilon and, of course, the Patrouille de France. The weather was nice, and with lots of sunshine and beautiful sunsets the demos were beautiful to photograph. Unfortunately we had backlight in the afternoon but at the beginning of the evening the light was beautiful on the runway. At half past eight it was past and meanwhile dark. By bus we were taken to the gate again and switched on our own Dutch bus and started the return journey. After a quiet ride everyone got out at his starting point and returned home with a satisfied feeling. Meanwhile it was Saturday morning (7 October).
This spotters day was on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Capitaine Georges Guynemer, a French First World War Ace with 54 confirmed kills. He died on 11 September 1917, flying in a Spad XII. During a meeting with German Fokkers, he disappeared near the Belgian Poelkapelle. Guynemer became an ace in February 1916 with 5 confirmed kills, flying with the Nieuport 10 fighter. At the end of 1916 the score was 25, and the unit he was flying was Escadrille N.3 (Storks). In 1917, Guynemer became Captain and Commander of the Stork Squadron. The current GC002 has taken over the traditions and is currently flying with the Mirage 2000-5F, the Air Defense version of the Mirage 2000.
GC 01.002 ‘Cigognes’ (either storks), consists of three spas; Spa 3 Cigogne de Guynemer, Spa 26 Cigogne de Saint Galmier and Spa 103 Cigogne de Fonck (all three with a stork as an emblem).