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Low-Level Flying Photography

Photographic Logs for 2010
(For all these shots I used a Canon EOS 40D and 7D with the following lenses;
Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L with and without a x1.4 extender and a Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L)
 
Harrier GR.9 (ZG859 '91') in 1(F) Squadron markings it was the second of a pair at 17:20 on May 25, 2010

Wednesday November 24, 2010 A cold day in Wales which promised so much but ended with an impressive pass from a Tornado GR.4, two C-130 Hercules and a pair of Hawks twice. Extraordinary backdrops this time of the year with the fading Autumn colours.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG752 '129') using callsign 'Marham 15' it was unmarked but believed to be with 13 Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG752 '129').
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH885) of 30 Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX171) of 208(R) Squadron.  
Left to right: C-130K Hercules C.3 (XV214).  

Wednesday November 10, 2010 Bright but cold today, with the clocks going forward the light was lost by 16:00. One Harrier went through the shadow from my hillside at 12:30. Only three Hawks but a stunning pass by the Tornado GR.4A and the trio of Harriers made the day.
Above: Tornado GR.4A (ZG713 '123' 'G') it was using callsign 'Marham 79' and was in 2 Squadron tail markings.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZG713 '123' 'G') it was using callsign 'Marham 79' and had a 2 Squadron code on the tail.
Left to right: Harrier GR.9A (ZD433 '45A') of 1(F) Squadron with an impressive array of mission markings from its deployment to Afghanistan. It was leading 'Jedi Flight' of four Harriers which had earlier been down to the Manorbier Air Defence Range. A fourth Harrier did not come through but joined up with them later.
Left to right: Harrier GR.9A (ZD433 '45A') through the mountain's shadow. Harrier GR.9 (ZD402 '31') of 1(F) Squadron.
Left to right: Harrier GR.9 (ZD352 '19') of 1(F) Squadron.  

Wednesday October 20, 2010 Wales was at its best today, great light and 25 passes, including; four pairs of F-15E Strike Eagles (using callsigns 'Shifty 11-12', 'Sniper 11-12', '31-32' and 'Tahoe 51-52'), two Tornados, two Typhoon's, two C-130s and a good number of Hawks, including one of the 2010 special scheme display aircraft.
Above: F-15E Strike Eagle (01-2003 'LN') of 48 FW, 494 FS from RAF Lakenheath.
Left to right: F-15E Strike Eagle (96-0301 'LN') of 48 FW, 492 FS and Typhoon T.3 (ZJ801 'BJ') using callsign 'Typhoon 33' of 29(R) Squadron which was working with 100 Squadron Hawk T.1 (XX318 'CN') callsign 'Pirate 15' which later came through but was too high.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA557 '048') using callsign 'Marham 82' and devoid of squadron markings.  
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA557 '048') on its second of two passes. It was fitted with a (AN/AAQ-28) Litening targeting pod.
Left to right: C-130J-30 Hercules C.4 (ZH869) it was using callsign 'Marshall3Charlie' so was probably on a flight test by Marshall's of Cambridge.
Left to right: C-130J-30 Hercules C.4 (ZH869) on its second pass and C-130K Hercules C.3 (XV301) of 47 Squadron Lyneham Transport Wing.
Left to right: BAe Systems operated Tornado GR.4A (ZA402) uncoded with a distinctive black radome.  
Left to right: Hawk T.1s (XX224, XX231 and XX244) of 208(R) Squadron and one of the specially painted 2010 4 FTS display Hawks T.1 (XX201).  
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZJ928 'QO-N') using callsign 'Typhoon 31' of 3(F) Squadron.
Left to right: F-15E Strike Eagle (91-0605 'LN') with a 492 FS blue fin tip and F-15E Strike Eagle (01-2003 'LN') with a 494 FS red fin tip flying as a pair and possibly using callsign 'Sniper 11 and 12'.  
Left to right: F-15E Strike Eagle (01-2003 'LN') with a 494 FS red fin tip.  
Left to right: F-15E Strike Eagle (91-0302 'LN') with a 492 FS blue fin tip.
Left to right:  F-15E Strike Eagle (91-0603 'LN') with a 494 FS red fin tip and F-15E Strike Eagle (91-0321 'LN') with a 492 FS blue fin tip.

Wednesday October 6, 2010. With high expectations of catching visitors for the photo shoot on their way to RAF Valley, I went to 'Sharks Fin' in the Ogwen Valley, North Wales. The weather tended to be heavy rain showers with a short bright spell followed by another rain shower. Unfortunately the expected F-15Es, Harriers and F.3 failed to go through the valley.
Left to right: Hawk T.1s (XX194, XX171 and XX224) all of 208(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Harrier GR.9 (ZD468 '58') in 4(R) Squadron markings and using callsign 'Cott 01'.  
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK032) 
Left to right: Hawk T.1 pair (XX188 and XX315) of 19(R) Squadron and both fitted with a 30mm Aden Mk.4 Cannon packs.   

Thursday September 2, 2010. With the start of September low level movements appears to have got back to normal. A sunny day in the Lakes produced two Typhoons, six Tornado (two missed through going early), two PC-9s and a pair of Grobs (one high).
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZJ919 'DC') of 11 Squadron, first of a pair using a 'Rampage' callsign.
Left to right: Two-seat Typhoon T.3 (ZJ808 'BG') in 29(R) Squadron colours. Unmarked Tornado GR.4 (ZA602 '067') which was to come through the valley on three (sorties?) occasions between 11:30 and 17:15.  
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA602 '067').
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA393 '008') in 31 Squadron colours following two minutes behind '067'.
Left to right: Close formation of BAE Systems Pilatus PC-9s (ZK119 'Percy' with ZG969 'Pinky'). Grob T.1 (G-BYWP).
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA611 'EB-L') of 41(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA611 'EB-L') and Tornado GR.4 (ZA602 '067').

Monday August 2, 2010. 'Mad Monday but lean times for the low level photographer these days with the RAF avoiding the usual valleys due to an MOD directive following some bad publicity. With Tornado GR.4s seeking other routes through Cumbria we were grateful that a United States Special Forces Combat Talon chosing our valley to make a number of passes. It was the only movement of the day.
Left to right: Lockheed MC-130H Combat Talon II (88-0195) of 7 SOS, 352 SOG based at Mildenhall.
Left to right: MC-130H Combat Talon II (88-0195).
Left to right: MC-130H Combat Talon II (88-0195).

Tuesday June 22, 2010. With low cloud south I moved to the north, the blue skies were hampered by a hazy mist. Four Tucanos, two Tornado GR.4s and a pair of Tornado F.3s completed the day. However a pair of Harriers was missed going behind my position as a flight of four F-15Es passed overhead. Also missed a Tucano and Typhoon on the exhaustingly long swap over from one side of the valley to the other. Very lucky to catch the F.3s through a gap in the trees on the climb up the otherside.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD742 '090') unmarked.  
Left to right: Tucano T.1s (ZF145 and ZF515) 
Left to right: Tornado F.3 (ZE983 'HL') of 111 Squadron. 
Left to right: Tornado F.3 (ZE201 'HU') of 111 Squadron. 
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD812 '104') again unmarked and the final movement of the day at 15:36. 

Thursday June 17, 2010 Out for the second day this week to catch the French Alpha Jets. Apparently they had nightstopped at Leuchars in Scotland the previous night, but they still appeared at 14:20 as two pairs six minutes apart and both pairs did the Loop twice. Two King Airs, four Hawks and a 31 Squadron Tornado completed another good day.
Left to right: Alpha Jet E (E104 '705-TG').
Left to right: Alpha Jet Es (E82 '314-LW' and E20 '705-MS').
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX220) of 208(R) Squadron during two different sorties. Super King Air B200 (ZK452 'L' and G-RAFP) of 45(R) Squadron, flying a minute apart.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA542 '035') of 31 Squadron

Wednesday June 16, 2010 Out in Wales to catch four French Air Force Alpha Jets which were based at RAF Valley for the week on exchange with 208(R) Squadron. I did not have to wait long as a pair did the Loop twice at 10:00. The same pair came around again 12:30 and 13:00 during their second sortie of the day. A Hercules (twice), six Hawks (mostly high), a Tucano, Harrier T.12 and one of the most exciting passes of the day a Tornado, wings swept and afterburners (or reheat) and assumed to be a 'show of force' demonstration.
Left to right: Alpha Jet E (E22 '705-LS').
Left to right: Alpha Jet E (E104 '705-TG' and E22 '705-LS').
Left to right: Alpha Jet E (E104 '705-TG').
Left to right: One of the few 250 foot passes by a Hawk T.1 (XX185) of 208(R) Squadron. Tucano T.1 (ZF269 'MP-O') of 76(R) Squadron based at Linton-on-Ouse.  
Left to right: C-130J-30 Hercules C.4 (ZH870) with callsign 'Marshall4' and Harrier T.12 (ZH661 '109') using 20(R) Squadron callsign 'Striker 22'.   
'A show of force' - 31 Squadron Tornado GR.4 (ZA452 '021') with a 67 degree swept wing and afterburners (or reheat)
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA452 '021') of 31 Squadron and was using callsign 'Marham 35'.  

Tuesday May 25, 2010. A bright mostly sunny day and better than forecast produced 14 Hawks, a Tornado GR.4 and two late Harriers. Three additional Tornados, including a 41(R) Squadron pair, appeared from the Bwlch but failed to turn for us.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA562 '051') devoid of squadron markings.
Unmarked Tornado GR.4 (ZA562 '051')
Left to right: Hawk T.1s (XX181, XX234 and XX244) of 208(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX162) of the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine are based at RAF Henlow but operating from Boscombe Down and two images of an unidentified Hawk T.1.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX301) of the Royal Navy inscribed '100 Years of Naval Aviation', Hawk T.1 (XX188) fitted with a 30mm Aden Mk.4 Cannon pack of 19(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Harrier GR.9 (ZD438 '50') still in its old 4(AC) Squadron markings.

Tuesday March 16, 2010. A bright day but very little traffic. In the morning there was only a Tornado GR.4, and after a move down the valley there was a Tucano and four Hawks.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZA401 '012') callsign 'Marham 83' and thought to be with 2 Squadron screamed around the corner justifying the climb and the morning's effort. It was fitted with a (AN/AAQ-28) Litening targeting pod.  

Left to right: Tucano T.1 (ZF511) with QinetiQ at Boscombe Down, Hawk T.1s (XX162 and XX327) with the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine and Hawk T.1 (XX204) with 19(R) Squadron.

C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH884) of 30 Squadron
Monday March 8, 2010. A cloudless sky with three different C-130 Hercules passes with five or six Hawk passes. Frustratingly a GR.4 Tornado was missed as I was packing my camera bag at the end of the day when the sun was just going down at 16:55.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX187) of 208(R) Squadron. C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH883) of 30 Squadron
.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX234) of 208(R) Squadron during two passes four hours apart.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH884) of 30 Squadron
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH889) of 30 Squadron.