Planespotting at Perpignan airport (PGF): the Patrouille de France

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"

The tricolour

Perpignan airport fly-over

An Alpha Jet in its ascending path over Perpignan airport