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Military Mountain Flying Training
Snowdonia Rotary MFTA

Esk 722 AW101 Merlin Mk.512
April 2018
Watching and listening
The Royal Danish Air Force deployed two EH101 Merlins to RAF Valley for mountain flying training. Their planned deployment was for a week but it was extended to two weeks due to the poor weather preventing any flying.
Four days were spent observing their activities, the reward was to catch them at two very remote locations in Snowdonia for about five minutes at a time. Many remote and numbered locations are visited within the MFTA during each sortie. The images on this page were all taken at 'Blue Door Valley' as named by RAF air crew within the MFTA named 'victor'. At the end of the valley is an old slate mining building with a very distinctive large blue door. On the day of our visit the door was actually being removed for repair. Each sortie lasts for around two hours, on this day the same Merlin (M-510) visited twice with a different crew each time.

Right: The old slate mining building with the large blue door which gave the name to the valley by air crew.
Royal Danish Air Force Merlin (M-510) operating in 'victor' within the Snowdonia Mountain Flying Training Area.
Left to right: Royal Danish Air Force Merlin (M-510) arriving in the valley.
The first approach over the 'blue door'.
Royal Danish Air Force Merlin (M-510) it has been fitted with the MX-15 FLIR camera under the nose.
The Merlin circled around to check out the landing area, eventually they made their final approach and landed.
 
Royal Danish Air Force Merlin (M-510).
 
 
Royal Danish Air Force Merlin (M-510).
 
 
Royal Danish Air Force Merlin (M-516) a final wave on departure.
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Royal Danish Air Force Merlin (M-516) a fast fly-by just 20 to 30 feet AGL.