Natal Air Force Base
|Natal Air Force Base
Base Aérea de Natal
|IATA: none – ICAO: none|
|Airport type||Military: Air Force Base|
|Operator||Brazilian Air Force|
|Elevation AMSL||52 m / 170 ft|
Sources: Brazilian Air Force
It shared some facilities with Augusto Severo International Airport until May 31, 2014.
Originally called Parnamirim Airport, this facility had an important role during World War II as a strategic base for aircraft flying between South America and West Africa. Particularly between 1943 and 1945, the base was used jointly by the Brazilian Air Force, United States Army and United States Navy, the Royal Air Force, and commercial airlines. The maintenance and security installations were made by the U.S. Army in the South Atlantic (USAFSA).
The following units are based at Natal Air Force Base:
Subordinated to the command of the 1st Air Force (I FAe), which is dedicated to Training:
- 2nd Squadron of the 5th Aviation Group (2º/5ºGAv), the Joker Squadron, using A-29A and A-29B aircraft for training with combat aircraft.
- 1st Squadron of the 11th Aviation Group (1º/11ºGav), the Gavião Squadron, using UH-50 aircraft for rotary wing aircraft training.
Subordinated to the command of the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA), which is dedicated to the control of the Brazilian Airspace:
- 3rd Squadron of the 1st Communications and Control Group (3º/1ºGCC), the Morcego Squadron, using radars and equipment for air defense.
Additionally, the Base has a Cessna 208 Caravan for administrative missions.
Accidents and incidents
- 25 March 1961: Brazilian Air Force, a Douglas C-47 Skytrain registration FAB-2055 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Natal crashed upon final approach. Of the 28 passengers and crew, 5 survived.
- 23 April 1977: Brazilian Air Force, an Embraer C-95 Bandeirante registration FAB-2169 crashed upon landing at Natal.
- 3 June 1977: Brazilian Air Force, an Embraer C-95 Bandeirante registration FAB-2157 crashed after take-off from Natal. All 18 occupants died.
- 17 November 1996: Brazilian Air Force, an Embraer P-95 Bandeirante registration FAB-7102 flying from Salvador da Bahia Air Force Base to Natal had an accident in the vicinity of Caruaru. Four Brazilian Air Force Bandeirantes were flying on formation from Salvador to Natal when the tail of FAB-7102 was struck by the propeller of another aircraft. Control of the aircraft was lost and it crashed. All 9 occupants died.
The base is located 18 km from downtown Natal.
- Brazilian Air Force Official Website
- "2º/5ºGAv – Esquadrão Joker" (in Portuguese). Spotter. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "1º/11ºGAv – Esquadrão Gavião" (in Portuguese). Spotter. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "Accident description FAB-2055". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Accident description FAB-2169". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Accident description FAB-2157". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Accident description FAB-7102". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Airport information for SBNT at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for SBNT at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- Current weather for SBNT at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for NAT at Aviation Safety Network
- Photos of the A-29A and A-29B used by Joker Squadron at spotters.com.br
- Photos of the UH-50 used by Gavião Squadron at spotters.com.br
- Photos of the AT-26 used by Pacau Squadron at spotters.com.br