Perpignan/Perpinya (PGF) is usually a pretty quiet airport but this week was different, as it was hosting the “Patrouille de France”, the acrobatics team of the French Air Force (Armee de l’Air), that was training ahead of an upcoming air show near Perpignan, where it was scheduled to perform alonside the Breitling Jet Team.
This visit by the “Patrouille de France” was an outstanding opportunity that local planespotters did not miss (as you could see the crowd gathering all along the road that leads to the airport. The “Patrouille’s” Alpha Jets performed their exercises at low altitude and right over the airport, including the traditional display of the French tricolour, and several other acrobatic moves.
Another unusual sight at Perpignan was a C-160 Transall from the Armee de l’Air, that was there supporting the “patrouille’s” temporary deployment to the Catalan airfield.
The timing of the exercises was also coincident with the arrival of the two most frequent visitors of the airport, Ryanair’s Boeing 737 from London Stansted (STN) and Air France’s A320 from Paris-Orly (ORY), not a bad planespotting afternoon for such a small airport!
One of the Patrouille de France Alpha Jets on the tarmac at Perpignan
Air France A320 arriving from Paris-Orly passing by the Patrouille de France Alpha Jets
A view of the terminal and control tower at Perpignan, with a Transall C-160 in the foreground and a Ryanair Boeing 737 in the background
An unusual sight: a Boeing 737, a C-160 and several Alpha Jets together at PGF
Ryanair's Boeing 737 preparing to depart for London Stansted (STN)
A Transall C-160 of Armee de l'Air
Patrouille de France deployed to Perpignan airport
Two of the Alpha Jets were painted in a more military grey-green rather than the tricolour livery worn by the rest of the "Patrouille"
Perpignan airport fly-over
An Alpha Jet in its ascending path over Perpignan airport