MiG-29 Fulcrum, Serbian Air Force, 101. lae VITEZOVI, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Batajnica Airshow 2009

MiG-29 Fulcrum, Serbian Air Force, 101. lae VITEZOVI, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

This is re-post of the first blog post from this blog, which was originally published on 17th October 2009. Due to some technical problems, this blog post was offline from 2010 till now. While reading keep in mind that this article was written 7 years ago…

Once upon a time…

My first association to the words Batajnica and airshow is Batajnica ’97, the first airshow I attended and also my first visit to a military airbase. It was impressive to see all the aircrafts at one place… Imagine a thirteen year old boy crazy about airplanes seeing at one place giants like Sukhoi 30 or Mirage 2000… Back in those days there were a lot of aircrafts, I remember that MIG 21 was shining like it just rolled out of factory, also beautiful G4M and many other aircrafts with their appearance clearly stated we have aviation worthy of respect. In those moments no one was counting how many Oraos or Super Galebs we have in arsenal, it seemed they were countless. I remember that the airshow ended with the performance of displey team “Leteće Zvezde” and JAT’s DC-10 in formation.

MiG-29 batajnica 1998 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com


Yugoslav Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum, serial 18107, seen at the static display during the Batajnica Air Show ’98. Just 8 months after this shot was taken, this very Fulcrum was destroyed on the ground during NATO air strike. Same thing happened to the control tower in the background, as well as both hangars that could be also seen in the background. 

Not so long ago…

From ’98 untill the begining of ’09 a lot has changed. Display team “Leteće Zvezde“ are no more, they were destroyed during bombarding, biggest JAT airplane DC10 was sold, airport Batajnica was destroyed in ’99 and those few remaining aircrafts don’t have that old shine… After this story you can understand my ironic laughter when I first heard of possibility of organizing big airshow such as Batajnica ’97 and ’98. It seemed impossible, even if the guests from abroad decided to show up, there was no place to receive them, because the infrastructure of the airport was inadequate to accept a great number of aircrafts. Nothing was serviceable, from stands to the service vehicles. Not to mention that airport didn’t even have a control tower!

100 years…

Shortly afterwards the first official information came out and rumor was that before the beginning of airshow airport Batajnica, now better known as “204. Airbase” will go through extensive renovation. The official cause for that was celebrating hundred years of Serbian aviation, which was confusing because Serbia acquired first aircrafts in 1912. But it was not a mistake, because in 1909 state provided hot air balloons for Serbian military and that is considered the beginning of our aviation. Exactly hundred years ago Serbia bought 3 hot air balloons, and used them in Second Balkan War and First World War.

Renovations….

It was a big surprise that a lot was accomplished before the airshow: modern, new control tower was built, a second runway was inaugurated, signalization was repaired, serving vehicles acquired and many other things were done… Great transformation for a short amount of time.
c130_dost5635

C130 Hercules , US Air Force. In the background you can see new control tower at airport Batajnica. 

Rehearsals…

Airshow was held on 13th September, the rehearsal for our aircrafts was on 9th and for guests on 12th September. Even though I was making plans months in advance, as it usually happens I had to travel for other duties. There was no chance for me to attend the rehearsal on Wednesday, but I literally escaped from my training for Mountain Rescue Service for weekend to be able to attend the main event.
On Saturday morning upon my arrival in Belgrade I just picked up my equipment and went ahead to the airport. There I saw once again the scene which reminded me of ’97… Long line of aircrafts, among them Eurofighter, F16, Mirage 2000, Hercules and many others. Even bigger surprise was the new control tower… It had serious look of air traffic control, in difference to the previous ATC shack. The workers were still running around, finalizing the work. That day I didn’t make many photos partially cause of bad atmosphere conditions and also cause of great distance between space reserved for photographers and aircrafts. Lens of 500+mm was useless for shooting if you know what I mean! Luckily I managed to arrange better position for the day after so that I can make better shots. I was working for magazine “Odbrana” and that got me better position, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking at these photos.
 Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Part of a apron with guests. In the forefront Danish Royal Air Forces F16BM .

D day…

Old crew, Petar Vojinovic (TangoSixBlog), Dušan Altagic, driver Flajko and me got on road early in the morning to avoid the traffic. We arrived among first, there was no crowd and airport was still empty. Reporters had a mini press center available with computers, internet connection, drinks and coffee… Only problem was coffee machine was broken… A horror knowing that I barely slept the night before. I walked across the airport to find the brown drink and got back to press center to find out that in the meantime they repaired the coffee machine. Of course it would be silly that everything went by the plan… Anyways, after couple of coffees I got down to work. I went by the static part to make some “clean” shots before river of people got around the aircrafts and then I proceeded to my favorite spot – triangle, a place between runway 1 and 2. All the guest’s aircrafts and part of our own were starting from there. From that moment till the end of day everything was great except atmospheric conditions. I enjoyed while watching the symbiosis of pilot’s skillful hands and mighty aircrafts and it was all followed by thundering noise from engines which made the earth shake. But let’s get down to business…

Main event started with the parade of Serbian Air Force aircrafts:

Utva -75, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Utva-75 (V-53).

G-4 Supergaleb , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

G4 Super Galeb formation takeoff (N-62)

Orao J-22 241.lbae Tigrovi, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Orao J-22 241.lbae Tigrovi, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

What a scene! I have to admit I never saw Orao formation takeoff. Mighty. Anyways these Orao J22’s are guests from 98. Aviation Base, located near Kraljevo.

MiG-21 vipvo, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Recently overhauled MIG21UM or NL16 as we call it.

MiG-29 Fulcrum, Serbian Air Force, 101. lae VITEZOVI, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

MIG29 Fulcrum 9.12b serial 18108 (L18), 101st FS “Knights”

formacija_l17_l18

Aircrafts MIG21 and MIG29 from 101. FS “Vitezovi” in close formation.

Orao J-22 241.lbae Tigrovi, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

 

Fireworks? No. Orao J22 shooting IC-decoys.

Then the solo displeys…

F-16 Denmark , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

F-16 Denmark , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

F-16 Denmark , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

F-16 Denmark , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Solo performance of the Danish F-16AM . Very dynamic  display from the very start till the end, definitely one of the best flights during Batajnica 2009 airshow.

Casa C295 , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Casa C295 , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Spanish AF C295. By watching this great performance you’d think pilot forgot he was in a transport aircraft , because it looked like fighter jet flying..

j22_25207_dost9631

Orao J-22 SLI ViPVO , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Solo performance of the Soko J-22 Orao  from SLI ( Flight test center ) .

JAS 29 Gripen Hungary Air Force , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

JAS 29 Gripen Hungary Air Force , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

JAS-39C Gripen , Hungarian Air Force.

Mil Mi-24V Hind – Hungary AF , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Mil Mi-24V Hind – Hungary AF , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Mil Mi-24V Hind – Hungary AF , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Mil Mi24V Hind – Hungarian AF. What a mighty beast…This Mi-24 has a special color scheme, which should remind of hind, but people think it reminds on everything else except a hind (maybe a giraffe or  a giant rat:) ) 

 

MiG-29 Fulcrum, Serbian Air Force, 101. lae VITEZOVI, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

MiG-29 Fulcrum, Serbian Air Force, 101. lae VITEZOVI, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

MiG-29 Fulcrum, Serbian Air Force, 101. lae VITEZOVI, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

MiG-29 Fulcrum, Serbian Air Force, 101. lae VITEZOVI, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

 

What more can I say, in my opinion this is the best looking  fighter jet. It’s not the aerodynamics or fire power, this aircraft is just pure art! MiG29 – Serbian Air Force.

Utva Lasta, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Utva Lasta, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Utva Lasta, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Utva Lasta3 (Lasta 95), first prototype still in testing phase.

MiG-21 Lancer Romania Air Force, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

MiG-21 Lancer Romania Air Force, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

MiG-21 Lancer Romania Air Force, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

 

Romanian Air Forces  MiG-21 Lancer B. I almost went deaf… It flew over right above my head (second photo) and like it happens I took my antiphons off just minute before. In the last moment, when the earth started to tremble I managed to put one hand over ear and other ear against shoulder to at least a little protect my hearing..

 

Alpha Jet, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Alpha Jet, Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

France Alpha Jet – twin engine trainer . I was hoping that the French will send Rafale or Mirage 2000, but this was good enought sign of respect….

 

Aero L 159B ALCA , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Aero L 159B ALCA , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

Aero L 159B ALCA – Czech AF.

G-2 Galeb Stars , Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

G-2 Galeb – displey team “Stars”.

stajanka_dost5828

This is the apron  where the guest’s aircraft  were parked.

Sadly the performance of Hawk and Pilatus PC9 i followed without camera. I was taking a small break to transfer the photos on my laptop and enjoy the show. I think I’ve already put enough photos so I won’t be bothering you anymore, just few more shots from “static” part and that’s it…

http://dimitrijeostojic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/mirage2000_batajnica2009.jpg

Mirage 2000 BG of Greece AF. Beautiful bird!

Mi-171 Češkog RV Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

MI171 Czech AF

eurofighter-batajnica2009

Eurofighter Typhoon – Italian Air Force.

Hawk T1 RAF Batajnica 2009 © www.dimitrijeostojic.com

 

British combat jat trainer  Hawk T1 – Royal Air Force.

Equipment…

So many things were happening that in one moment I realized all the memory cards were full and I had to transfer some photos to laptop…I had to do that few times by the end of the day. Next thing I’ll buy is more memory cards.
I know many of you want to know the kind of equipment I used… Canon of course, goes without saying. For this shooting I had two bodies: my favorite EOS 1D MKIIN and EOS 40D. The lens I used were Canon EF 500/4 L IS , 70-200/2.8 L IS, 17-40 4L i teleconvertor 1.4 if needed. Great load of equipment, very limit that one man can bring. I owe gratitude to Dušan i Ivan who helped me from time to time with carrying. My ex 1D MK IIN showed great reliability, best camera ever! The thing listens to his master , in difference to two and three digit Canons.

Russians…

I heard complains of some people, saying that the show wasn’t good because of the absence of Russian airplanes… I wanted to see some Russian aircraft too, but there were worthy things like Eurofighter… Russians were invited by protocol but showed no interest in showing up on this event. Instead of sending MiG-35 which has great chance of becoming a next fighter jet for our AF they gave up participation, and didn’t even send any less important craft to show on stand at least. So much about them

Complains…

Barely any. I think that the organization was great, but with few standard oversights, like bad organized transportation, but that part was outside the military authority. Organization could look up some international airshows. Also the food was poor, and it could be better handled. At the end my biggest remark and other reporters remark is the place reserved for press and photographers. It was too far and with the bad weather conditions it was impossible to make a good shot. The foreign colleagues were really disappointed with this. They traveled a long way, spent money and went back home without good photos. One famous foreign spotter said he would rather shoot takeoffs and landings from outside airport if he knew the press position would be so bad. I know a lot attention was paid to security, especially after the crash of pilot Ranđelović, I support that, but photographers need good shooting positions, because their good photos will attract more people for the next airshow (especially guests from abroad).

Good things…

Overall  the show was great. I can even say it was bigger event  then the airshow in ’97/8. People in organization of flying program and airport deserve all praises. This airshow was worthy of celebrating 100 years of Serbian aviation.
In three years big airshow is announced to celebrate 100 years of Serbian Air Force. By then the question of acquiring new multipurpose aircraft will be under spotlight, so we can expect more foreign guest to take place with their stat of the art multipurpose aircraft :)
This is re-post of the first blog post from this blog, which was originally published on 17th October 2009. Due to some technical problems, this blog post was offline from 2010 till now. While reading keep in mind that this article was written 7 years ago…
Text abd photos © Dimitrije Ostojić 2009

38 thoughts on “Batajnica Airshow 2009

  1. Citav radni vek sam proveo po mnogim aerodromima i nikada mi vazduhoplovi nisu bili tako lepi kao na tvojim fotografijama.Nadajmo se da ces 2012 godine imati priliku da slikas nas novi višenamenski avion pa makar to bio i MiG-35.

  2. Idi bre Diki , pa jel znas kolko ce mi sada trebati vremena da odaberem fotku za desktop.
    Sve su fantasticne , a tekstovi su interesantni za citanje.
    Cekam nastavke. :-)

  3. Lepo hvataš detalje,pretpostavljam da je i aparat vrhunski.
    Slika Orla u brišućem letu dok ispušta crvenkastu boju ,jedna od najboljih koje sam ikada video za taj avion – 5 zvezdica!
    Mi-24 sa ICmamcima – šou 5 zvezdica!!!

  4. Sta reci nego IZVANREDNO!!! Gospodine Ostojicu svaka vasa fotografija je za mene malo slavlje. Ziveli!
    Pozdrav, Papalu sa Burek foruma.

  5. Hvala puno na promociji avijacije. Bila mi je cast da ucestvujem svojim orlom na mitingu a ove tvoje fotografije vracaju secanje u zivot.
    Pozdrav od tigrova iz Kraljeva(Ladjevaca)!!!
    Joca

  6. Diki druže BRAVO!

    Bio sam na aeromitingu 1997 i 1998 i sećam se kako je to tada sve izgledalo. Odlično si preneo atmosferu sa ovog mitinga. Nedostaje samo gromoglasno urlanje aviona na pisti. Bravo još jednom!

  7. Сјајне фотке. Нажалост, митинг је, са позиције посетиоца, био прилично лош. Боље ишта него ништа, али могли су мало ближе да лете.

  8. Pozdrav!
    Slike su dobre,tu nema greske!
    Pored njih,utisak ostavlja par stvari!
    Reci-da od opreme koristis ‘naravno Canon’ i da se to podrazumeva,mi se nikako ne uklapaju u pricu iskusnog fotografa?
    Daleko je Canon od konstatacije da se podrazumeva,jer smo svi svesni da je doshao trenutak uskog nijansiranog klanja top foto brandova,te nema potrebe preterano se lozhiti na taj nachin.Inace i sam imam canona.
    To cime radis je dobra oprema i iz nje izvlacis mnogo,ali,opet da napomenemo auditorijumu,da nije to bas granica u tezini,jer fotografi nose i mnogo vishe.
    Sve u svemu,odlican set fotki,samo tako nastavi,uz vise prakse i manje teorije,jer kako vidimo iz prilozenog to sto radis,ne ostaje neprimeceno!
    Srdacan pozdrav!

  9. Maxo druže ,”naravno canon” je šala iz nekih internih krugova, a ti si to pogrešno shvatio kao neki moj ozbiljan stav. Inače svi koji me poznaju, znaju moje mišljenje o foto opremi, koje da ne bih dužio priču niko nije fanatično i vezano za jedan brend, a “naravno canon” je više zajebancija baš na račun ljudi koji se lože na canon/okinn ;)

  10. e pa odlicno onda!
    Slozismo se,nisam ja to onda dobro rastumacio!
    Nikon ili Canon,u tvojim rukama nece da greshe,samo udri!
    Zelim ti puno svetla i cistih ‘stakala’!
    Pozdrav veliki

  11. Dimitrije za fotke kao i uvek, odlicne su :) A sto se programa tice, mogao ja da bude i bolji i dinamicniji. One velike pauze izmedju poletanja su ubile poentu aeromitinga. Isto mi i na brdascu kod “dvanaestice” na Tesli da sam bio. Znaci planiranje programa 3- za organizatore. Nadam se da ce ovaj da bude bolji al mi nesto ne mirise po listi izvodjaca sem rusa jedino.

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