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).

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Tornado GR.4 (ZD719 '085')
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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'.
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Tornado F.3 (ZH552 'HW') of QinetiQ
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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.
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F-15D Eagle (86-0182 'LN') of 48 FW, 493 FS.
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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.
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Left to right: F-15C Eagle (86-0154 'LN') of 48 FW, 493 FS.
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Left to right: F-15C Eagle (84-0019 'LN') of 48 FW, 493 FS.

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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.
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Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ803 'BA') using callsign 'Typhoon 42' of 29(R) Squadron.
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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.
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Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK010 'A') of 4(R) Squadron and Hawk T.1 (XX315) in its old 19(R) Squadron markings.
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Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH880) with 30 Squadron it was using callsign 'Ascot 140' and operating from Brize Norton.

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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.
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Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk (88-26205 'LN') helicopter of 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) based at RAF Lakenheath during mountain training in Snowdonia.
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Left to right: HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter (88-26205 'LN') of 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) during a morning sortie.
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Left to right: HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter (88-26205 'LN') of 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) during a morning sortie.

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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.
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Left to right: Super King Air B200s (ZK459 'X' and ZK458 'D') were just a few minutes apart and were bound for RAF Valley.
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Left to right: 100 Squadron Hawk T.1 (XX189 'CR') and Hawk T.1 (XX230).
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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.
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Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD719 '085') using callsign 'Monster 1' it made two passes with '112'.
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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.
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Left to right: C-130J-30 Hercules C.4 (ZH877) with 30 Squadron operating from Brize Norton.

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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.
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Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA587 '055').
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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.
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Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD711 '079') unusually with a black nose and devoid of squadron markings.
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Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD711 '079').
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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.
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Left to right: CH-47D Chinook (D-102) from 298 Squadron based at Gilze-Rijen Air Base.

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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.
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Left to right: C-130K Hercules C.3A (XV188) of 47 Squadron.
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Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZK326 'EP') of 6 Squadron based at RAF Leuchars.
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Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZK326 'EP') of 6 Squadron.
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Left to right: Tucano T.1s (ZF338 'MP-W' named Whizzo', ZF347 and ZF379)
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Left to right: Tucano T.1s (ZF379 and ZF143)

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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.
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Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK027 'R') with 4(R) Squadron.
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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'.

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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.
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Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK032) unmarked but with 4(R) Squadron.
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Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX255 'CL') of 100 Squadron and Tucano T.1 (ZF341) of 207(R) Squadron.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') of 2 Squadron.
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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.
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Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') of 2 Squadron.
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Left to right: Lynx AH.7 (XZ669 'I') of 671 (Training) Squadron based at AAC Middle Wallop.
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Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ812 'BK') in 29(R) Squadron markings.
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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.
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Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX203 'CC') of 100 Squadron it made two passes ten minutes apart.