Senior Captain Stefan Darte ‘Vador’ will fly the Dark Falcon for the next three years
Taken on Apr. 23, 2018 by Andrew Timmerman from Finn Aviation Photography, the cool photos in this post feature the new paint scheme of Belgian Air Force F-16 belonging to the service “Viper” Solo Display Team.
Called “Dark Falcon,” the roll out of the new aircraft took place at Florenne Air Base (AB), home of Belgian Air Force 2nd Tactical Wing.
Senior Captain Stefan Darte ‘Vador’ will fly the Dark Falcon (which has been designed by Johan Wolfs who appears along with Vador in the picture below) for the next three years.
According Belgian Air Force F-16 Solo Display Facebook page, Darte started flying in 1993 with the Belgian Air Cadets. He joined the Belgian Air Force in 1997 and started his standard pilot training at Beauvechain Air Base with prom 97A. After completing basic flying training on the Alenia Aermacchi (formerly: SIAI Marchetti) SF-260M/D and basic jet training on the Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet 1B, he received his pilot wings with the prom 97B in 2000.
He was assigned to the First “Stingers” Squadron at Florennes AB in 2002. During his almost 15 years as squadron pilot with the “Stingers” of 1st Squadron Vador was specialist in Weapons and Tactics, acting as Squadron Weapon Officer for 6 years and 2nd Wing Weapon Officer for 3 years.
In 2006 Darte graduated from the EPAF (European Participating Air Forces) Weapon school and became a Weapons Instructor. He came back to the FWIT (Fighter Weapon School) as an Instructor during four courses.
During his last years in the 1st Squadron he did a short tour as Director of Operation and left the Squadron in the summer of 2016 as a Reconnaissance specialist. As Weapon Instructor and OCU Instructor qualified Vador joined the 2nd Wing Flying Group in 2016 acting as the OEC (Operations and evaluation Center) representative.
2018 will offer him new challenges and new opportunities as the F-16 Demo Pilot for the upcoming three years. He logged 2900Hrs on the F-16.
Photo credit: Andrew Timmerman from Finn Aviation Photography