Vliegclub Rotterdam’s formation team has been flying since 1965, so it’s currently over 55 years old. At the start, the team only performed fly-by maneuvers, especially during Vliegclub Rotterdam members’ wedding ceremonies and funeral services. This changed three years later. In 1968, the formation team started flying figures (like lazy eights). On the way back from Le Bourget Airshow, the name ‘Victor Romeo Formation’ was coined. Ever since it has been the official name and callsign of the formation team.
The team members have changed over the years. It once started with former military pilots. Formation flying is a military activity, after all, it offers protection to military aircraft. As for civil aviation, there is no practical use for formation flying. Except of course, that it is awesome to do!
Currently, the team comprises eight pilots. Fun fact: none of the current pilots are also professional pilots (one student is, though). We all have very different lives, but we join in our passion for formation flying. There are also two students who regularly join the formation training and receive training themselves, too.
Even though all of us can fly in different positions in the formation, we usually have the same leader. Flying in the leader position may appear easy, but you are responsible for the entire formation. That means you must look around and check if everyone is still flying where they are supposed to be, check if everyone can hear you, communicate with ATC, and navigate. Not so easy after all!
Throughout the year, we have visited a variety of airshows. Most frequently we were to be found on Volkel in de Wolken. We have also been to Harreveld on Wheels, to the Dutch Air Force Days (in Leeuwarden, for example), to Seppe Airfield (with a borrowed plane, no less, the PH-NCD), Maritiem Vliegkamp de Kooy and finally, we have flown demonstrations on Vliegclub Rotterdam’s open days itself. For those of you who are members of the Vliegclub, we have also been to the September 2021 club week at Stadtlohn-Vreden Airport.