The first aircraft provided for members of the club was an Auster J1 Autocrat (OO-ABN) and was soon followed by two Piper Cubs (OO-EAB and OO-EAE). Also at that time they flew out of the airfield of Grimbergen, previously a military spare airport which existed since 1939.
From 1965 onwards, more modern aircraft were added to the fleet, like a Cessna 150 (OO-SEZ). In 1966 the club bought its first four-seater, a Cessna 172 (OO-SEY). In 1974 an extra Cessna 150 (OO-SEW) was acquired due to the large number of members (120).
In 1985, under Sabena CEO Carlos van Raefelghem, the SSTA was transformed into the Sabena Aeroclub, the flying club of the Sabena Airline. Due to this change, the airplanes also received a new look: they were painted blue and white (the official Sabena colours) besides the classic S-tail (the Sabena logo) on the airplane’s tails. Soon the association would reach its record number of 280 members.
In 2004 the club celebrated its 50th birthday which was extensively celebrated. One year later the club received the title 'Royal' by his royal and Belgian Majesty King Albert II. Since then the club may be officially called "Royal Sabena Aeroclub".
We are the only Declared Training Organisation (DTO) in Belgium, providing modern ground and flight instruction in Dutch, English and French.
Challenges for the future
- Safety is the first and ever present topic in all our activities.
- We continuously strive to improve our way of teaching the art of flying.
- Continue to attract interested youth and to help them with their first steps towards becoming a professional pilot.
- Guiding passionate people into their aviation hobby.
- Keeping our fleet up to date with the latest technologies.
- Like in the good old days of Sabena we want to stimulate the pleasant atmosphere among club members, colleagues and aviation enthusiasts.
Tradition is not worshipping the ashes, but keeping the fire burning.