Falcon Leap 2020

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands
Five C-130 aircraft taxing at Endhoven AFB, The Netherlands, during Falcon Leap 2020 exercise.

In previous years, the annual 'MarketGarden' parachute airdrop was held in September at the Ginkelse Hei near Arnhem, in the Netehrlands. Due to the Corona/Covid epidemic, this exercise has been adapted to the current time.

This exercise is divided into two parts, called 'FalconLeap'.

FalconLeap, part 1, from 07 to 11 September

Part 1 of this exercise consisted of the dropping of cargo from various military transport aircraft above Deelen and Oldebroek traingareas. Due to Corona/Covid, it was not possible to attend the cargo drop off the aircraft. It was planned to fly a mission over the training areas 3 times a day.

For this exercise, an American C-130 and a French C-130 had flown to Eindhoven Airbase (ICAO: EHEH) at the beginning of the week to practice together with C-130 Hercules aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. But due to bad weather, no missions were flown in the first days of the week, causing the American C-130 to return prematurely.

The French C-130 left for France on Friday 11 September, after having flown several missions with the Dutch Hercules aircraft.

FalconLeap, part 2, from 14 to 18 September

Part 2 of this exercise consists of dropping paratroopers from various military transport aircraft above training areas where no spectators are allowed. These practice areas include Renkum, Deelen and the Ginkelse Hei; all areas around the city of Arnhem.

For this 2nd part of the FalconLeap exercise, transport aircraft from the Netherlands, Belgium, United States and Germany flew 2 to 3 missions per day.

Overflight Eindhoven, September 18th

On September 18th, 1944 the city of Eindhoven was liberated by the Allied troops. Every year on September 18 there is a commemoration in Eindhoven, where one or more C-130s of the Royal Netherlands Air Force fly above the city at 20:00.

Also this year there will be a unique “Fly By” with a number of military aircraft taking place above Eindhoven. The “Fly By” coordinated by the European Air Transport Command (EATC), with its headquarters in Eindhoven, will be on display in a large part of Eindhoven.

Participants in the Fly By were a Dutch C-130, a Belgian C-130, a French A400M and a German C-160 Transall. Additional aircraft were a Supermarine Spitfire and a B-25 Mitchell, from the Dutch Air force Historical Flight at Gilze-Rijen AB. 

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Falcon Leap exercise Netherlands

Report by: Joris van Boven and Alex van Noije