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Low-Level Flying Photography
Photographic Logs for 2013

(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)


F-15C Eagle (84-010 'LN') of 493rd FS, 48th FW, climbing out of low level in April 2013.

Thursday October 10, 2013 Down from Scotland and in the Lakes and hoping the Mirage 2000Ns operating from RAF Leeming would make an appearance. The wow moment came with little warning with two Mirages in close formation. Due to equipment/photographer failure I only managed to snatch two images of the second jet.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH885) of 30 Squadron
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French Air Force Mirage 2000N (348 '125-AL') callsign 'Ramex 42'
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH885) and Mirage 2000N (348 '125-AL') callsign 'Ramex 42'.
Left to right: Hawk T.2s (ZK010 'A' and ZK035 'Z') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Chinook HC.2A (ZH896) of 18 Squadron possibly involved in a fighter evasion exercise.
Left to right: Chinook HC.2A (ZH896).

Wednesday October 9, 2013 In the Scottish Borders and the only passes were a pair of Tornado GR.4s one at 250 feet the other 500 feet AGL.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD895 '115') of 9 Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD895 '115' and ZA393 '008').

Tuesday September 24, 2013 Not much to report from a very slow day with two passes from this Typhoon.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ814 'BH') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ814 'BH') of 29(R) Squadron.

Tuesday September 10, 2013 It was a little grey with the sun breaking through occasionally in the Lakes today. I missed three F-15Es which diverted from their early sortie to Wales north to the Lakes due to poor weather they appeared over Windermere at 08:30 six minutes apart. However my 13 passes; A Tornado twice, 2 Typhoons, a C-130, Tucano, 5 Hawk T.1s and 2 Hawk T.2s including 2 special tails more than made up for the missed F-15s.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD895 '115') of 9 Squadron, it is fitted with a pair of the larger 2,250 litre 'big jugs' fuel drop tanks for increased range.
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZJ912 'DR') of 11 Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZJ912 'DR') of 11 Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZK379 'BB') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Tucano T.1 (ZF290) of 207(R) Squadron and Hawk T.1 (XX184 'CQ') of 100 Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX318 '95Y') inscribed '1912-1917' for the 95th anniversary of 100 Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX346 'CH') and Hawk T.1 (XX250) of 208(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD895 '115') of 9 Squadron on its second sorite to the Lakes today.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD895 '115') of 9 Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK020 'K') painted in 4(R) Squadron's 100th anniversary scheme it is inscribed '100 1912-2012'.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK024 'O') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: C-130J-30 Hercules C.4 (ZH865) of 30 Squadron
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX255 'CL') of 100 Squadron using callsign 'Pirate 10'.

Finnish Air Force Hawk T.51A (HW-355)
Wednesday September 4, 2013 Very little hill fog today and my second attempt to catch the Finnish Air Force Hawks deployed the RAF Valley for the week. A NOTAM covering the southern part of the Loop was found to not affect the rest of the circuit to my relief when a 208(R) Squadron Hawk T.1 made it all the way around. Later a pair of Finnish Hawks made multiple passes. Some sporty passes from two seperate Tornado GR.4s finished the day off very nicely.
Left to right: Finnish Air Force (Ilmavoimat) Hawk T.51A (HW-351 and HW-355) from the Central Flying School (Ilmasotakoulu) based at Kauha.
Left to right: Finnish Air Force Hawk T.51As (HW-355 and HW-351).
Left to right: Finnish Air Force Hawk T.51As (HW-355 and HW-351).
Left to right: Finnish Air Force Hawk T.51As (HW-355 and HW-351).
Left to right: Hawk T.1s (XX158 and XX315) of 208(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD714 '082') in 12(B) Squadron markings but was using the callsign 'Marham 04'.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD714 '082') in 12(B) Squadron markings.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA542 '035') unmarked.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA542 '035') unmarked.

Tuesday September 3, 2013 This was the first attempt to catch the Finnish Air Force Hawks deployed the RAF Valley for the week. An 'Avoid' posted and covering the next valley (possibly involving the Sea King) and hill fog, which did not lift till after 13:00, scuppered any chances of getting the elusive Finn's. However the two Tornados which came through were very welcome, the first pulling up and out of low level due to a lingering mist bank just a mile away which was covering all but the lower shelf of the Bwlch.
Left to right: Sea King HAR.3 (XZ587 'C') of 22 Squadron 'C' Flight based at RAF Valley.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA462 '027') callsign believed to be 'Death Ray 2' it was unmarked but had a black nose and was carrying a Litening Targeting pod.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA462 '027') pulling out of low level.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA594 '060') callsign could have been 'Death Ray' but more likely it was 'Vampire' coming up from Cardiff via LFA 7T. It was also unmarked and again had a black nose.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA594 '060').

Tuesday August 6, 2013 Chose the wrong day this week, I just got a pair of 208(R) Squadron Hawk T.1s mid afternoon. While back in the office over the next two or three days the tally in Wales was really exceptional. I would sooner not dwell over what I could have had.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX315) of 208(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX256) of 208(R) Squadron.

Monday June 24, 2013 With the prospect of French Alpha Jets deployed to RAF Valley I travelled to the Loop. The French failed to take to the air, their support aircraft failed to make it and the Alpha Jets were forced to return later in the week without flying a sortie. Still I was rewarded by four Tornado GR.4s, the first two from RAF Marham were exactly five minutes apart, the pair 'Vandal 1-2' came down from RAF Lossiemouth.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA609 '072') formally with 41(R) Squadron it was flying from Marham and is fitted with a pair of the larger 2,250 litre 'big jugs' or 'Hindenburger' fuel drop tanks for increased range.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD788 '098') from Marham it was carrying a Litening Targeting pod and the 'small jugs' 1,500 litre fuel drop tanks.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') callsign 'Vandal 1' of 617 Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4As using 617 Squadron callsigns 'Vandal 1' and 'Vandal 2'. Tornado GR.4A (ZA395 '009') c/s 'Vandal 2' flying with 617 Squadron but in 31 Squadron markings and is fitted with a pair of the larger 2,250 litre 'Hindenburger' fuel tanks.

Thursday June 6, 2013 Not too much to say about today in the hills of Wales, only a Typhoon and three Hawk T.1s on this cloudless day. I hung around in vain till 18:30 hoping for a late pass in the stunning evening light.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZK307 'BU') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX250) of 208(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX199) of 208(R) Squadron.
Left to right: and again Hawk T.1 (XX199) of 208(R) Squadron four minutes later.

Wednesday May 22, 2013 An interesting day with two pairs of Typhoons (c/s 'Triplex flight') returning through the Mach Loop on their way back from a morning and afternoon sortie to the Pembrey Sands Air Weapons Range producing six passes, plus a C-130 coming up from the south and a Tornado GR.4 dropping in to low level at Welshpool enroute to RAF Valley and five Hawks (four T.2s plus an unmarked FRADU T.1). One of the Typhoons was still carrying a Paveway LGB on its starboard pylon.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK037 'AB') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ815 'BN') c/s 'Triplex 1' of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ804 'BM') c/s 'Triplex 2' of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ815 'BN') c/s 'Triplex 1' of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ804 'BM') c/s 'Triplex 2' of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH882) of 30 Squadron and Hawk T.2s (ZK037 'AB' and ZK027 'R') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ815 'BN') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ815 'BN') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ804 'BM') of 29(R) Squadron.
Typhoon T.3 (ZJ804 'BM') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ804 'BM') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.1A (XX303) of FRADU.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD895 '115') c/s possibly 'Marham 11' of 9(B) Squadron which dropped in to low level just down the road at Welshpool bound for RAF Valley via Mach Loop.

Tuesday April 30, 2013 Three locations (Cad East then Snakepit and Bwlch) in one extraordinary day in Wales. The 493rd FS flew a four ship of F-15C Eagles in the morning and afternoon. The RAF struck back with two Typhoons and three Tornado GR.4s (one missed on the cross-over) and numerous Hawk T.2s. Most made multiple passes unfortunately many of which were high.
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (86-0175) of 493rd Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath.
F-15C Eagle (86-0175 'LN') of 493rd FS, 48FW based at RAF Lakenheath
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (86-0175) of 493rd FS.
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (86-0175 and 84-010) of 493rd FS.
Left to right: Hawk T.2s (ZK019 'J' and ZK015 'F') of 4(R) Squadron.
Typhoon T.3 (ZK380 'BG') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZK380 'BG') of 29(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK010 'A') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZJ915 'BY') in new 11 Squadron markings but retaining its original 29(R) Squadron 'BY' tail code. Using callsign 'Typhoon 67' it had flown a PD (Practice Diversion) at RAF Valley before going low level.
F-15C Eagle (84-010 'LN') of 493rd FS, 48FW based at RAF Lakenheath
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (84-010) of 493rd FS.
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (84-010) of 493rd FS.
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (84-010) of 493rd FS.
Left to right: F-15C Eagle (84-010 and 84-027 '493 FS') of 493rd FS.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK030 'U') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZD849 '110') in 617 Squadron colours but flying from Marham with a 31 Squadron marked jet.

Wednesday March 5, 2013 Wales and the Bwlch bottom shelf for the first time in years, very little activity unfortunately with a couple of Hawks and Hercules and Shiny Two.
Left to right: Hawk T.2 (ZK017 'H') of 4(R) Squadron.
Left to right: C-130J Hercules C.5 (ZH879) of 30 Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA398) 'Shiny Two' of 2 Squadron.

Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') of 617 Squadron and fitted with a pair of 2,250 litre 'Hindenburger' fuel tanks.
Thursday February 28, 2013 The Lakes were bathed in sun all day. The morning ended with a 617 Squadron Tornado GR.4 which had come down from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to pass through the Lichfield Corridor on its way to Wales for Exercise Fast Mover. Fitted with a pair of the larger 2,250 litre 'Hindenburger' fuel tanks for increased range it continued home descending over Morcambe Bay to pass through the Lakes. The same mission profile was flown by this jet late afternoon. A singleton and pair of Tornado GR.4s completed the day on the otherside of the valley.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') of 617 Squadron during Exercise Fast Mover centred on mid Wales.
Left to right: Singleton Tornado GR.4 (ZA410 '016') of XV Squadron.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA410 '016') of XV Squadron.
Left to right: First of a pair, Tornado GR.4 (ZG750 '128') with a 31 Squadron nose bar.
Left to right: Second of the pair, unmarked Tornado GR.4 (ZA585 '054').
Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA585 '054') it is fitted with an AN/AAQ-28 Litening III Targeting pod.
Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZA404 '013') of 617 Squadron during the afternoon sortie of Exercise Fast Mover centred on mid Wales.

Hawk T.1 (XX205) Royal Navy, this is one of the sharpest images I have taken of a Hawk T.1, just keep clicking to enlarge.
DSLR full-frame sensor + Canon EF 400mm f2.8 L IS Mk.II + x1.4 Mk.III extender at 1/800 at f.4 with -2/3 stop exposure compensation and ISO 200.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 Wales was cloudless but very cold and apart from a F-15E Strike Eagle which came through too high the only movement of the day and after a wait of over 7 hours was a Royal Navy Hawk T.1 which thankfully came around twice.
Left to right: Hawk T.1 (XX205) Royal Navy using callsign 'Navy 66' was returning from RAF Valley to RNAS Yeovilton and was to pull out of low level at Swansea.
Left to right: F-15E Strike Eagle (01-2002 'LN' '494FS') and Hawk T.1 (XX205) Royal Navy.