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Low-Level Flying Photography
Photographic Logs for 2012
(For all these shots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk III and 7D with the following lenses;
Canon EF 400mm f2.8 L IS Mk II, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L with and without a x1.4 extender Mk III and a Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS)


Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht) Boeing CH-47D Chinook (D-102) from 298 Squadron based at Gilze-Rijen Air Base in March 2012.

Tuesday December 11, 2012 Blue sky and unlimited visibility worked well in the first few hours with an early Hercules, a Hawk T.2 pair and a Tornado from Marham with two passes. Unfortunately Coningsby then Marham closed due to fog and our day ended prematurely.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH883) of 30 Squadron.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH883) of 30 Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG713 '123-G') in 2 Squadron colours but believed to be with 31 Squadron was using callsign 'Marham 03'.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG713 '123-G') in 2 Squadron colours but believed to be with 31 Squadron was using callsign 'Marham 03'.
Tornado GR.4 (ZG713 '123-G') in 2 Squadron colours with a 67 degree wing sweep.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG713 '123-G') in 2 Squadron colours but believed to be with 31 Squadron was using callsign 'Marham 03', its second pass included a 67 degree wing sweep.
Left to right: 4(R) Squadron Hawk T.2 (ZK037 'AB') and Hawk T.1 (XX324) of 208(R) Squadron.

Thursday November 29, 2012 Very bright today with unlimited visibility, ideal for the 'Exit'. Three pairs of Hawk T.2s one pair twice were the passes. The second aircraft in each pass was high perhaps reflecting the students stage in the course.
Left to right: 4(R) Squadron Hawk T.2s (ZK031 'V', ZK027 'R' and ZK010 'A').
Left to right: 4(R) Squadron Hawk T.2s (ZK032 'W' and ZK010 'A').

Wednesday November 14, 2012 Overcast all day with swirling low cloud in the valley.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA398) 'Shiny Two' of 2 Squadron using callsign 'Marham 48'.
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZK310 'EL') of 6 Squadron using callsign 'Leuchars 37'. Flying south from Scotland it had put down to low level using ATC at Liverpool airport with an over-shoot of the runway.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG777 'EB-Q') of 41 Squadron using callsign 'Rebel 41'.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG777 'EB-Q') of 41 Squadron using callsign 'Rebel 41'.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH888) of 30 Squadron, it had I think been working with a Cobham Mystere 20 using callsign 'Ascot 661'.
Left to right: Hawk T.1s (XX174, XX176 and XX194) all in 208(R) Squadron markings and Hawk T.1 (XX317) which was unmarked. XX176 was fitted with a 30mm Aden canon pod fitted underneath the fuselage centre-line.

Monday October 15, 2012 Back again for more on a cold, dull and damp day was spent hoping for a Hunter and Jet Provost (you don't often say that) which both appeared along with a Hawk T.1 exactly at the right time for the low cloud in the valley below to make the picture.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX256) of 208 (R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawker Hunter F.58A (G-PSST) first pass.
Left to right: Hawker Hunter F.58A (G-PSST) second pass.
Left to right: BAC Jet Provost T.3A (G-BVEZ / XM479) of the Newcastle Jet Provost Group run by Neil McCarthy.
Left to right: BAC Jet Provost T.3A (G-BVEZ / XM479). Hey, I know there are too many images of these warbirds, I just like them all.

Hawker Hunter F.58A (G-PSST) flown by Jonathon ‘Flapjack’ Whaley
Friday October 12, 2012 A late-morning dash to the Loop followed by a 'gallop' up the hill and I was rewarded by two passes of the beautiful 'Miss Demeanour' on its way to Duxford for the Autumn Show on Sunday.
Left to right: Hawker Hunter F.58A (G-PSST) first pass.
Left to right: Hawker Hunter F.58A (G-PSST) first pass.
Left to right: Hawker Hunter F.58A (G-PSST) second pass some minutes later after 'Flapjack' came out of low level to call RAF Valley for clearance.

Tornado GR.4 (ZD844 '107')
Tuesday October 9, 2012 With an over-night stop in Selkirk it was easy to make the top of the hill by 08:30. The morning produced two RAF Tornados followed by the highlight of the day and the reason for being in Scotland a flight of four German Tornados which skylined before dropping into the valley three miles away to appear around the corner at 250 feet AGL at 13:56. A Tucano and a pair of Hercules in the TTA slot at 16:48 finished off the two days perfectly.
Left to right: Unmarked Tornado GR.4 (ZD844 '107') thought to be with 15(R) Squadron at Lossiemouth it was fitted with a AN/AAQ-28 Litening III Targeting pod.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA398) 'Shiny Two' of 2 Squadron it is inscribed 'Second to None' it was using callsign 'Marham 82'.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA398) 'Shiny Two' of 2 Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado ECR (46+24) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Left to right: Tornado ECR (46+24) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Left to right: Tornado ECR (46+36) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Tornado ECR (46+46) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Left to right: Tornado ECR (46+46) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Left to right: Tornado ECR (46+49) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Tornado ECR (46+49) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Left to right: Tornado ECR (46+49) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Left to right: Tornado ECR (46+49) of JBG 32 German Air Force based at Lechfeld.
Left to right: Tucano T.1 (ZF378). C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH881) of 30 Squadron the first of a pair flying through the TTA slot at 16:45.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH881) of 30 Squadron.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH883) of 30 Squadron.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH883) of 30 Squadron.

Monday October 8, 2012 This week I made an ealier start for Scotland leaving at 03:30 which was just as well. Making the climb up the hill I was in position at 08:45 just in time for the first movement at 08:53 a pair of German Tornados which arrived high to drop into the valley. By 09:40 and RAF Tornado and Typhoon had flown past. After a very long wait the final pass was a Hercules at 16:45 which was in the Tactical Training Area (TTA) slot which allows aircraft to go down to 100 feet Above Ground Level (AGL).
Left to right: German Air Force Panavia PA-200 Tornado ECR (46+49) of Jagdbombergeschwader 32 (JBG 32) based at Lechfeld. It is carrying a AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) on the centreline pylon.
Left to right: German Air Force Tornado ECR (46+46) of JBG 32 based at Lechfeld. It is carrying a AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG756 '131') of 617 Squadron from Lossiemouth.
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZK307 'BU') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZK307 'BU') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH883) of 30 Squadron.

Thursday October 4, 2012 I left the house at 05:00 for the 250 mile drive to the Scottish borders. After a 1 1/2 mile walk and a climb through a bog I looked left to see two German Tornados bearing down on me. There's no time to get the camera out so all I can do is just watch them zip through the valley and around the corner. This was the second big miss of the year if only I had left the house 15 minutes eariler. A Tucano was the only other movement of the day before the long long drive home.
Left to right: Tucano T.1 (ZF145).

Sea King HC.4 (ZF124 'L')
Wednesday September 5, 2012 A Royal Navy Sea King HC.4 was the only interesting pass of the day through the Loop.
Left to right: Sea King HC.4 (ZF124 'L') of 846 Naval Air Squadron (RNAS Yeovilton) using callsign 'Navy 411' on its way to RAF Valley as part of a Special Forces exercise (Ex Chamelion).
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX286) of 208(R) Squadron, Hawk T.2s (ZK026 'Q' and ZK011 'B') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.2s (ZK028 'S') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.2s (ZK024 'O', ZK019 and ZK029 'T') of 4(R) Squadron.

Wednesday August 8, 2012 With 'Mad Monday' cancelled it was a case of giving the Lakes a go today. The only movement at 12:25 was a Tornado GR.4 carrying an AN/AAQ-28 Litening III Targeting pod. Not long after hang gliders were launching into the valley having apparently set up an avoid which curtailed all low level flying for the rest of the day.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA459 'F') now with mission marks it is inscribed 'XV 1915 to 2005' it is in the colours of 15 Squadron but has been flying with 9 Squadron for most of this year at least.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA459 'F').

Tornado GR.4 (ZD719 '085')
Thursday July 12, 2012 A bright but mostly cloudy day was spent in Wales initially hoping for a Hunter on its way to RIAT. In the end the other rumour of the last low level flight of a Tornado F.3 came to fruition followed by an extraordinary twenty minutes of F-15C/D/E Eagle/Strike Eagle activity culminating with passes from my first F-15C Eagle and two-seat F-15D Eagle at low level.
Left to right: The day started with this unmarked Tornado GR.4 (ZD719 '085') using callsign 'Marham 42'.
Tornado F.3 (ZH552 'HW') of QinetiQ
Left to right: Flying from Boscombe Down QinetiQ Tornado F.3 (ZH552 'HW') in its former 111 Squadron markings was flown by Dave Southwood 'Tester 04' on the final low level sortie of the type. It flew on to Warton for a flypast at 15:20 before touching down for the last time at 15:38 at RAF Leeming. The last three Tornado F.3s also flew in to RAF Leeming for scrapping a few days later.
F-15D Eagle (86-0182 'LN') of 48 FW, 493 FS.
Left to right: F-15D Eagle (86-0182 'LN') "Do you know where Bluebell Hill is?" of the 48 Fighter Wing, 493 Fighter Squadron. This jet crashed on October 8, 2014 in Lincolnshire.
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (86-0154 'LN') of 48 FW, 493 FS.
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (84-0019 'LN') of 48 FW, 493 FS.

Monday May 28, 2012 A day in Wales started off well with two 29(R) Squadron two-seat Typhoons before 10:00 but only produced a C-130 and a few Hawks later in the day.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ803 'BA') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ803 'BA') using callsign 'Typhoon 42' of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ806 'BE') using callsign 'Typhoon 311' of 29(R) Squadron which went straight on unfortunately.
Hawk T.1 (XX178) of 208(R) Squadron, it was put in to storage at RAF Shawbury in November 2012.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK010 'A') of 4(R) Squadron and Hawk T.1 (XX315) in its old 19(R) Squadron markings.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH880) with 30 Squadron it was using callsign 'Ascot 140' and operating from Brize Norton.

Thursday May 24, 2012 A very interesting if not a slow day watching and hoping the Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters of 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) which had deployed to RAF Valley from RAF Lakenheath for the week would conduct their mountain training in my part of Snowdonia. A two hour plus sortie in the morning was followed by another between 14:30 to 17:00 in my general area on top of a 800 meter mountain top. The problem was that only on a few occasions did either helicopter come remotely close. They would make several approaches to a potential landing spot and after the fifth or sixth approach actually land. These approaches and landings would be made either high on a mountain top or down low in the valley below. On other occasions they would rest their main wheels only on an impossibly small outcrop and hold position with just the main wheels on the ground.
Left to right: HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter (88-26206 'LN') of 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) during a morning sortie.
Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk (88-26205 'LN') helicopter of 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) based at RAF Lakenheath during mountain training in Snowdonia.
Left to right: HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter (88-26205 'LN') of 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) during a morning sortie.
Left to right: HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter (88-26205 'LN') of 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) during a morning sortie.

Tuesday May 22, 2012 Lots of movements on this sunny day, Marham flew at least eight Tornados in to LFA 7 but only one pair flew through this valley twice before I left at 18:10, two more went through at 18:30 and 19:35.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK014) it is with 4(R) Squadron but has yet to have its code and markings applied.
Left to right: Super King Air B200s (ZK459 'X' and ZK458 'D') were just a few minutes apart and were bound for RAF Valley.
Left to right: 100 Squadron Hawk T.1 (XX189 'CR') and Hawk T.1 (XX230).
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX230) with 208(R) Squadron and a pair Hawk T.1s in close proximity including XX283 still in its old 19(R) Squadron markings.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD719 '085') using callsign 'Monster 1' it made two passes with '112'.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4s (ZD851 '112 in 31 Squadron markings and ZD719 '085'') they were using callsigns 'Monster 1 and 2' and made two passes.
Left to right: C-130J-30 Hercules C.4 (ZH877) with 30 Squadron operating from Brize Norton.

Wednesday March 28, 2012 The cloudless and unseasonally warm temperatures made for another wonderful day in the Lake District. Three Tornado GR.4s (one I missed which I will regret for some time to come) a pair of Tucanos and a pair of Dutch CH-47D Chinooks concluded another memorable day.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA587 '055') with wings swept, it has an 'XV' and mission marks on the otherside.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA587 '055').
Left to right: Tucano T.1 (ZF374) in a black and white special scheme and crown on the tail inscribed '1952 - 2012' on the tail for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Tucano T.1 (ZF374) with 207(Reserve) Squadron markings.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD711 '079') unusually with a black nose and devoid of squadron markings.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD711 '079').
Left to right: CH-47D Chinooks (D-102 and D-663) of Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht). Three RNLAF CH-47D Chinooks and two Eurocopter AS532U2 Cougars from 298 Squadron based at Gilze-Rijen Air Base in Holland were based at Carlisle Airport were taking part in exercise 'TAC Blaze' which ran from March 12 to March 30.
Left to right: CH-47D Chinook (D-102) from 298 Squadron based at Gilze-Rijen Air Base.

Tuesday March 27, 2012 With cloudless skies across the country I headed for the Lake District. With many interesting low level sorties in Wales and around Cumbria today we ended up with just five Tucanos, a C-130K and a Typhoon which came down from Scotland.
Left to right: C-130K Hercules C.3A (XV188) of 47 Squadron.
Left to right: C-130K Hercules C.3A (XV188) of 47 Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZK326 'EP') of 6 Squadron based at RAF Leuchars.
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZK326 'EP') of 6 Squadron.
Left to right: Tucano T.1s (ZF338 'MP-W' named Whizzo', ZF347 and ZF379)
Left to right: Tucano T.1s (ZF379 and ZF143)

Thursday March 22, 2012 A persistant mist filled this welsh valley all day. It was slow with just a pair of 4(R) Squadron T.2s which came around twice plus a Hawk T.1 and Tucano T.1 both from Boscombe Down to complete the day.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK025 'P') with 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK027 'R') with 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX162) of the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine flying from Boscombe Down and Tucano T.1 (ZF511) of Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) operated by QinetiQ also at Boscombe Down and flown by 'Gauntlet 58'.

Monday March 19, 2012 Back to Wales and a bright but cloudy day, four Hawks and a Tucano was the tally.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK012 'C') with 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK032) unmarked but with 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX255 'CL') of 100 Squadron and Tucano T.1 (ZF341) of 207(R) Squadron.

Tuesday March 6, 2012 Last minute decision to go to the hills and was rewarded with five Hawks, two Tornado GR.4 and a C-130 Hercules.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA459 'F') inscribed 'XV 1915 to 2005' it is in the colours of 15 Squadron but calling 'Bulkhead 1' of 9 Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1s (XX194, XX250 and XX338) all of 208(R) Squadron and Hawk T.2 (ZK011 'B') in the new colours of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD792 '100') unmarked but with IX(B) Squadron it arrived without being picked up on the scanner having gone low level from RAF Marham.
Left to right: C-130J-30 Hercules C.4 (ZH875) with 30 Squadron now operating from Brize Norton and using an 'Ascot' callsign.

Tuesday January 31, 2012 A day in Wales in bitterly cold weather and six inches of snow. The good forecast gave way to poor conditions resulting to no low level flying at all in LFA 7.

Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') of 2 Squadron.
Thursday January 11, 2012 Arrived in low cloud and drizzle but by 09:30 conditions were perfect. It was not until 13:00 did the day get started. Two Tornados, a Lynx, a Typhoon and a Leeming Hawk which made two runs through the Cumbrian valley.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') of 2 Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') of 2 Squadron.
Left to right: Lynx AH.7 (XZ669 'I') of 671 (Training) Squadron based at AAC Middle Wallop.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ812 'BK') in 29(R) Squadron markings.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD715 '083') complete with 617 Squadron nose flash and 12 Squadron badge on the tail, it has over 50 mission markings from operations over Libya last year. It is reported to be based at RAF Marham currently.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX203 'CC') of 100 Squadron it made two passes ten minutes apart.