Interview Pascalle van der Horst – Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historische Vlucht-Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight

– First of all thank you very much, please introduce yourself to us, and tell us if you have any aviation background.

My name is Pascalle van der Horst Head of Communication at the RNAF Historic Flight. I don’t have an aviation background. In my day job I’m a Marketing Manager at a local BMW dealership.

– What is the Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historische Vlucht (Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight)? Please tell us about it, a little history.

The RNAF Historic Flight is a foundation completely run by vollunteers. The team works hard to keep the heritage of our WWII planes alive and the planes flying. We were founded in 1969 and celebrate our 50th anniversary this year!

– How many people are in the team together?

In total we have about 280 vollunteers. A group of approx. 70 people is concerned with running the foundation on a daily/weekly basis.

– Where are the pilots come from? Can someone join the team from the outside?

Our pilots are working for the RNAF as well as civil airliners. Of course it is possible for outsiders to join the team. People from various kinds of business are very welcome to help us out. There is a lot of work to do. For example: Maintenance on aircrafts and buildings, Sales people etc.

– What types of planes the Historische Vlucht has at the moment?

We have 12 different types of planes.
• Spitfire MKIX
• B25 Mitchell
• Beech18
• Harvard
• Beaver
• Piper Cub
• Ryan
• Stinson

To name a few. 

– How hard or easy to maintain the planes?

It is not an easy job to maintain the planes. Of course because of the high maintenance costs, but also a current shortage of technicians to work on the planes. It takes a lot of time and efford. Luckily we get support of our loyal benefactors (Flying Partners red.), sponsors and the RNAF.

– Any plan for the year 2019 you can share us? As I read this year marks a lot of anniversary for you and Dutch Aviation as well.

As mentioned we celebrate our 50-th anniversary in june of this year. 2019 is also the year of the RNAF Days at Volkel Air Base, the 75th anniversary of Market Garden and in August there is a large event at our location at Gilze-Rijen called Classic Wings & Wheels, also known as “little good wood”.

– Could you summarize the 2018 year, any highlights from it?

Last year we succesfully attended a lot of memorial flights for the RNAF. We are very proud to be aible to contribute to that. Sadly without our Spitfire and Mitchell due to repair/maintenance.

– How it is decided where the Historische Vluch will perform?

We mostly fly on remembrance days and for revelations of monuments. The RNAF decides were and when we have to perform. We plan these particular flyby’s every year in March.

– Any personal favourite plane from Historische Vlucht?

Our beatiful Spitfire MKIX 

– How hard or easy to connect with the younger generation, because through the planes you tell history. Are they curious about the Historische Vluch and what it wants to represent?

It is quite a job to stay connected with the younger generation. That is why it’s so important to keep telling the story of WWII and our history in general. These stories have to be told by parents, grandparents, gouvernment and of course foundations like ours. Therefore we also attend air shows with our promotion team and frequently post on social media to stay connected to aviation fans.

– If you could have a chance to ad any type of plane to the Historische Vlucht, which one would it be?

More Spitfires and a Mustang P51, but that is my personal choice. 😉

– Dou you have any contact with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF; Dutch: Koninklijke Luchtmacht)? Do they help in anyway?

Definitely! We work together on a daily bases and they help us in any way they can. We are very grateful for that.

– Where can the people find the Historische Vlucht on the internet? Facebook, Twitter?

We have our website:
Instagram: @historischevlucht
Twitter: @KLu_HV

– Thank you very much for your time! Any final words to our readers?

Thank you for the interview!

Keep telling the story of our history and heritage to the next generation and help us to preserve these important aircrafts for the future.

Photos: Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historische Vlucht