Noordzee Vliegclub (Belgium)

The Noordzee Vliegclub (North Sea Flying Club), founded in October 1970 with the goal to promote and popularize General Aviation, offers its more than 100 members access to reasonably priced airplanes and welcomes annually 10 to 20 new members that start their student path towards the Private Pilot License.

The Club has always been a pioneer amongst the Belgian flying clubs, by organizing 5 successful airshows in the seventies and early eighties, becoming the first “ATO” in Belgium, offering a full glass cockpit C172, occupying the most modern facilities of all Belgian clubs and being one of the very few clubs with an own Maintenance Organization (BE.MF.0021).

Initially a customer of the engine workshop of Hessenatie, the Club was one of the first customers when Louis Swiggers took over Hessenatie’s shop, Sotramat, to found Loma Air. While the Club is almost reaching the age of 50 and ready to become a Royal club, our relationship with Loma Air is almost as old and has always   been truly “Royal”. The Club mechanic, Don Porto Carero, being responsible for the maintenance of our planes for more than 45 years, has always maintained a strong relationship with Loma Air.

Don Porto Carero

In the past decades, more than 20 engines of our Club must have passed through the qualified hands of the Loma Air mechanics for a major overhaul. We always kept coming back thanks to the excellent service and the client oriented approach.

Loma Air has always helped us to find the most cost-efficientsolution for any problem. Also, when smaller issues appeared in between 2 engine overhauls, they helped us swiftly with remote technical advice or urgent repairs in their shop or even on site on our premises. One day, Louis and a mechanic came over to Ostend for a NDT inspection of the exterior part of the crankshaft of an engine, to avoid the dismounting and remounting of the engine. In order to perform this inspection, our   mechanic Don Porto had to improvise a dark room in the hangar and the BCAA responsible also came on site for a swift approval of the work done.

Even international missions were part of Loma Air’s service. One day we had a plane grounded in Calais due to a broken valve spring and the Loma Air technician went all the way there to repair the issue on site in order to get our plane back in the air in no time. Besides the engine shop, Loma Air has also built a reliable airparts service and has helped us often to obtain an urgently needed spare part at a competitive price.

Another factor contributing to the excellent client relationship was the cozy and warm atmosphere at the Swiggers’ house. Our mechanic Don, traveled to Heist-op-den-Berg several times with a spare part requiring urgent repair and was often invited to the family table to join them for the meal while waiting for the part to be serviced.

The opening of the new Loma Air facilities in September 2017 was again a showcase of the professionalism, dynamism and commitment of the family Swiggers and their entire team. Whenever you are visiting Ostend Airport at the Belgian coast, do not hesitate to drop by in the bar of our club to have a drink and enjoy our  spectacular view on the airport. We’ll be very happy to welcome you!

Mark Inghelbrecht

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