Interview with the Bronco Team

Thank you for your time. First of all introduce please yourself and the Team as well. What planes you have?

I am Tony De Bruyn pilot with Bronco Demo Team. Our team first saw light of the day in 2010 and originated within a group of airplane enthousiast. Our goal is to bring the OV-10 Bronco to the European airshow scene, something we have been successfully doing since more than 5 years now. We currently own and operate two OV-10B Broncos, based in Belgium. The airplanes were acquired in 1999 from German government who had operated them as target tugs. Not too many Broncos were build, therefore they are rather unique and worldwide only a handful remain operational.

So it seems you guys are a relatively young in the demo teams. Can you tell me about the rest of the team members? Did the pilots operated the Bronco before?

Our team consists of Crew Chiefs, which undergo a yearly training and Cheerleaders, who bring a feline touch to the team. As such we are quite unique. Their backgrounds vary, but all are involved in aviation professionally. The pilots have never operated Broncos before and had to learn all from scratch, but it is a simple airplane to operate and a lot of fun to fly.

How hard it is to maintain the Bronco? I am talking about spare parts mostly.

It is not to easy, but not difficult either. The airplane was designed to be maintained with a simple tool kit in the field and this goal was certainly achieved. Spare parts are not plentiful but so far we have not encountered any problems yet with supply. We are very much on top of the spares situation having developed the capacity to overhaul all major components, including the engines, in house to Part145 requirements. This should keep us out of the rain for long time to come.

How can you summarize the 2015 year for the Team? Were did you performed?

It was our best year ever, with 21 public performance for a total audience estimated at around 1.850.000 people all over Europe. We have taken in all major airshows from Poland, Czech Republic across Europe to the UK. We are finishing the year with the Al Ain Air Championships in the United Arab Emirates, this will be the first time we perform on another continent too.

Anything you can tell us about the next year, 2016?

It is going to be very exciting with our second Bronco coming on line, opening up a whole lot of new possibilities, not only limited to duo displays. A few bookings have already been received, for which we are very grateful.

ne of the reason I contacted you, cause you wrote on your site that the team brought back another Bronco. Can you tell me a bit more about this plane itself?

This aircraft was acquired back in 1999 from the Technical School of the Luftwaffe in Fassberg. The aircraft had been used for Aircraft Battle Damage Repair training and required extensive restoration work. This was completed over the past 5 years. It is now as good as when it left the factory.

Any sort of “dream” airshow you would like to participate in the future?

There are quite a number of great airshows in Eastern Europe which we definitely would like to bring the Bronco to.

I know it is hard to pick one, but which show was the best airshow you had so far?

All the airshows we go to do stand out for one reason or another. We just loving bringing the Bronco to the people! This year RIAT15 was very memorable as we actually arrived at the largest military airshow in the world at exactly the same time as the first Bronco ever took the air 50 years – to the day – before. There was also the added emotion that the pilot on that first flight had sadly passed away just one week before. Therefore we dedicated our participation at RIAT15 in memory of Mr. Ed Gillespie.

Well thank you for your time. Anything you would like to tell for our readers?

It was my pleasure. We’d love to bring the Bronco, or perhaps two?, to an airshow in Hungary in the very near future.