Halcones Aerobatic Team History

Halcones Pitts Special S2A (1980-90) paint scheme

The first aerobatic display team in Chilean Air Force was formed in 1958 from No 7 Squadron and flew four Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars. This display team was named "Condores de Plata" and it existed until 1966.

A tradition of display teams in Chile was revived in 1980, when the "Halcones" aerobatic team was established equipped with five newly arrived North American Pitts Special S2A biplanes. Officially, the team was formed on 14 January 1981 and was assigned to the Air Force Base at El Bosgue.

In 1989, the "Halcones" visited England and Belgium and this was the also the last year that the team uses Pitts biplanes in airshows. In 1990, the "Halcones" converted initially to purpose-built Extra 300 aircraft and later to the Extra 300L model.

In 1993, a solo aircraft, Halcone #5, crashed into the ocean, killing its pilot during a demonstration at Iquique. Then on 8 August, two of the team's aircraft, numbers 4 and 5, collided in mid-air during a practice flight. The cause of the incident was pilot error attributed to the #5 pilot.

Halcones 1993 crash video

On 20 July 2009, Halcon #4 - Lieutenant Eduardo Varas de la Fuente survived a crash during a demonstration at Santiago. The accident occurred at 14:15, when the Halcones' Extra 300L aircraft experienced engine problems. Lieutenant Eduardo Varas subsequent actions avoided further tragedy when he turned his aircraft away from a nearby fish terminal and instead crashed at side of the "Panamericana Sur" highway. The pilot was rendered unconsciousness with minor injuries and he was taken to hospital by a Chilean Air Force helicopter. After recovering from his injuries, Lieutenant Varas resumed his duties as a "Halcones" pilot.

On 9 November 2011 at about 2:30 pm, Lt. Cristian Andres Padilla Bravo died when his Extra 300L crashed during training flight at El Bosque Air Base, south of Santiago. Lieutenant Bravo had joined the "Halcones" in 2009 and his first air show was in 2010 flying as a solo pilot in Halcon #5. Lieutenant Varas, who was involved in the previous 2009 accident, replaced Lieutenant Bravo.

On 15 March 2013, two members of the Chilean Air Force aerobatic team "Halcones", died in crash at Quintero Air Base, 70 miles northeast of Santiago. The crash occurred at about 10:30 a.m. local time during routine training flight. Both occupants Capt. Eduardo Varas de la Fuente and mechanic Cristian Garcia died at the scene. The cause of the EXTRA 300L aerobatic plane crash is still unknown and is under investigation. Varas flew as Halcon #5 and this was his second incident unfortunately, this time fatal. On 20 July 2009, he survived a crash during a demonstration at Santiago.

Since their creation, the "Halcones" have visited the following foreign countries: United States, England, France, Israel, Belgium, Ecuador and Peru.

Halcones Pitts Special S2A (1980-90) Halcones Pitts Special S2A (1980-90) Halcones Pitts Special S2A (1980-90)


Aerobatic Teams

Back