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Axalp week
Swiss Air Force Base, Meiringen - Unterbach
October 2006

Axalp week 2006 and another chance to exploit the fabulous photographic opportunities that are to be found here. The report; "One of the most photogenic airfields in Europe" describes some of the numerous excellent photographic locations that can be found at Meiringen - Unterbach air base. This year I spent time at the western end and was able to shoot at yet another location to get some pretty cool close up shots. 
This year Meiringen's Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs of Fliegergeschwader 13, Fliegerstaffel 8 were joined by some McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornet's from Fliegerstaffel 11 which have now moved here on a permanent basis from Payerne. The images were taken between on a beautiful sunny day between 08:30 and 17:30, which saw the sun rise and set over the very high surrounding peaks. 
F-5E (J-3025) deploys it's parachute on landing.
F/A-18Cs (J-5009 and J-5023) emerge from the cavern area to taxi out down the usual eastern taxiway at 08:15 as part of the days first four ship. J-5023 is
By 09:30 the F/A-18s return, approaching from the western end. Left to right: F/A-18Cs (J-5014, J-5023, J-5005 and J-5009).
F-5E Tiger II (J-3093) in the mid-morning light back lighting the F-5Es as they make their way to the western end for take-off.
Left to right: F-5Es (J-3025, J-3067 and J-3079). Many of the sorties appeared to be for 1v1 or 2v2 Air Combat Manoeuvring (ACM). The central orange drop tanks and dummy AIM-9P Sidewinder training rounds are carried to distinguish the 'aggressors' when engaged in dog fighting.
F-5Es returning to the cavern area for lunch, some were using the eastern taxiway, these F-5s were using the western route. Left to right: F-5Es J-3025, J-3079 x2 and J-3015.
Left to right: F/A-18Cs (J-5017 and J-5006) make their way to the runway along the western taxiway from the cavern area.
Four F-5Es making their way to the runway from the caverns for the first afternoon sortie. Left to right: J-3076 and J-3015.
Left to right: Runway action, F-5E (J-3076), F/A-18C (J-5005), two-seat F/A-18D (J-5237) and F/A-18C (J-5010).
Left to right: F/A-18C (J-5023) has just landed and after entering the cavern area from the eastern taxiway continues out on to the western taxiway and stops with a problem. With an emergency declared the fire service was quickly on the scene and the jet is made safe and subsequently towed back to the caverns.
F-5E (J-3067) comes from the shadows to the evening sun. It is now 16:30 and the shadow has now moved halfway towards the runway. In just over an hour the airfield will be totally in shadow. 50 minutes later the F-5Es return. 
F/A-18C Hornet (J-5021) landing in the evening sun at the western end.
Left to right: F/A-18Cs (J-5021 and J-5010) close the flying for the day at 17:30.