For already 22 years the Malta International Airshow has attracted many interesting visitors. This year’s edition, held on 27 and 28 September 2014, was no exception. Reason for us to celebrate the 100th 4Aviation trip with a tour to this beautiful island. Despite some last minute cancellations, the Malta Aviation Society succeeded once again in attracting some special visitors to the small island.
On early morning Friday 26 September 2014, a group of 10 photographers gathered at Schiphol for the tour to Malta. After a smooth and short flight we landed at Malta and drove our rental cars to the gate of the airshow. Most of the group had bought the four day entry pass so that we could enjoy the arrivals and departures of the show.
Undisputed highlight of the show was a K-8E from the Egyptian Air Force. Supported by a C-130H from the Cairo based 516th Air Regiment, the K-8 from the 98th Tactical Fighter Squadron (El Minya AB) arrived on Friday 26 September along with a large delegation from the Egyptian Air Force. Already in 2005, a K-8E belonging to the demonstration team “Silver Stars” visited Tanagra Air Show in Greece but this was the first time a K-8E from a front line unit visited Europe. The Minya based 98th TFS, subordinate to the 770 Tactical Fighter Wing uses the K-8E in the Close Air Support Role. As the Qatar C-130J was cancelled at the last hour, the crew of the Egyptian C-130H was persuaded to stay during the Air Show weekend instead of returning home. The organizers did a fine job in inviting a P-3C from VP-4 “Skinny Dragons”. This unit, based at Hawaii, is currently deployed to Europe and not often seen by aviation enthusiasts. After all aircraft had arrived, we drove to our nearby hotel for some food and some sleep.