Projects         
SPTA logs 2016  
Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA)
Photographic Logs for 2017
Thursday February 16, 2017 With a mist that lasted almost all morning take-offs were delayed producing a precession of visitors for the rest of the day. The highlights being the two QinetiQ Gazelles in their relatively new blue and white paint schemes and the first time visitor to the Plain of the brand new Agusta 109 from RAF Northolt.
Left to right: Apache AH.1 (ZJ209) using callsign 'Panther 81' with 673 Squadron based at AAC Middle Wallop.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XX453) using callsign 'Tester 05' of QinetiQ based at Boscombe Down.
Gazelle AH.1 (XX453) using callsign 'Tester 05' of QinetiQ based at Boscombe Down in a small valley beside the EvDZ.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XX453) using callsign 'Tester 05' with QinetiQ based at Boscombe Down.
Left to right: Apache AH.1 (ZJ232) using callsign 'Panther 82' with 673 Squadron based at AAC Middle Wallop.
Left to right: Bell 212HP AH.1 (ZJ969 'K') using callsign 'Army Air 735' of AAC 671 Squadron.
Left to right: Bell 212HP AH.1 (ZJ969 'K') using callsign 'Army Air 735'.
Left to right: Bell 212HP AH.1 (ZJ969 'K') using callsign 'Army Air 735'.
Left to right: Gazelle HT.3 (ZB625) using callsign 'Tester 63' with QinetiQ based at Boscombe Down.
Agusta Westland 109SP GrandNew (GZ100 ex G-ZIOO) using callsign 'Northolt ??' of 32(The Royal) Squadron in the VIP transport role being flight tested on Salisbury Plain.
Officer Commanding 32 (TR) Squadron, Wing Commander Steve Courtnadge announced the delivery of GZ100 earlier in the week at RAF Northolt. It was explained that GZ was the identification code that 32 Squadron wore during the Battle of Britain during as one of the most successful fighter squadrons. Flying Hurricanes from RAF Biggin Hill, the Squadron scored 102 victories over a 7 week period in the summer of 1940. 100 represents the one hundred years that the Squadron has been in existence. 32 Squadron was formed at Netheravon on the 12 January 2016 and from there went straight into battle in the skies over France during World War One.
Left to right: Agusta Westland 109SP GrandNew (GZ100) using callsign 'Northolt ??' of 32(TR) Squadron.
Left to right: Agusta Westland 109SP GrandNew (GZ100) using callsign 'Northolt ??' of 32(TR) Squadron.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (ZB692) with 667 Squadron (HQ Director Army Aviation Development and Trials) at AAC Middle Wallop.

Thursday January 26, 2017 A day around the EvDZ and confined areas. Despite the gloomy the day was very rewarding, starting with a Merlin HC.3 which it is believed to be the first to touch down on Sidbury Hill. The Merlin was apparently on its way to Yeovil for conversion to HC.4 standard. A Gazelle did the grand tour of all the confined areas and even turned up on Sidbury Hill (another first for the type). The day ending with a Puma in the confined area.
Left to right: AgustaWestland Merlin HC3 (ZJ129 'N') using callsign 'Commando 557' of 846 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton.
Merlin HC3 (ZJ129 'N') using callsign 'Commando 557' the first touch down by a Merlin on Sidbury Hill
Left to right: Merlin HC3 (ZJ129 'N') using callsign 'Commando 557' of the Royal Navy.
Left to right: Merlin HC3 (ZJ129 'N') using callsign 'Commando 557' of the Royal Navy, on its way to Yeovil for conversion to HC.4 standard which should take 10-12 months.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XZ345 'M') using callsign 'Army Air 746' of 7 (Training) Regiment Conversion Flight School of Army Aviation, Middle Wallop.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XZ345 'M') using callsign 'Army Air 746' of 7 (Training) Regiment Conversion Flight School of Army Aviation.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XZ345 'M') using callsign 'Army Air 746' of 7 (Training) Regiment Conversion Flight School of Army Aviation.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XZ345 'M') using callsign 'Army Air 746' of 7 (Training) Regiment Conversion Flight School of Army Aviation.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XZ345 'M') using callsign 'Army Air 746' of 7 (Training) Regiment Conversion Flight School of Army Aviation.
Left to right: Gazelle AH.1 (XZ345 'M') using callsign 'Army Air 746' of 7 (Training) Regiment Conversion Flight School of Army Aviation.
Left to right: Puma HC.2 (ZJ956) pooled with 33 and 230 Squadron using callsign 'Vortex 305'.
Left to right: Puma HC.2 (ZJ956) pooled with 33 and 230 Squadron using callsign 'Vortex 305'.
Left to right: Puma HC.2 (ZJ956) pooled with 33 and 230 Squadron using callsign 'Vortex 305'.

Wednesday Janaury 25, 2017 The Plain was covered in fog which prevented any flying until after 13:00 when the visibility rapidly improved allowing a few helicopter to make use pf the DZ, three of which I was able to pursue. The Lynx AH.9s came out 15 minutes apart and each visited the confined area swapping over after 20 minutes.
Left to right: Lynx AH.9A (ZG921) using callsign 'Army Air 003' with 657 Squadron of Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing based at RAF Odiham.
Left to right: Lynx AH.9A (ZG921 and ZG918) with 657 Squadron of Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing based at RAF Odiham.
Left to right: Lynx AH.9A ZG918) using callsign 'Army Air 623' with 657 Squadron of Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing based at RAF Odiham.
Left to right: Apache AH.1 (ZJ231) using callsign 'Panther 82' with 673 Squadron based at AAC Middle Wallop.
Apache AH.1 (ZJ231) taken with a shutter speed of 1/20th
Left to right: Apache AH.1 (ZJ231) using callsign 'Panther 82' with 673 Squadron based at AAC Middle Wallop.
Left to right: Apache AH.1 (ZJ231) using callsign 'Panther 82' with 673 Squadron based at AAC Middle Wallop.

Wednesday Janaury 18, 2017 A day around the confined areas with three very welcome visitors each showing some very skillful flying.
Left to right: Puma HC.2 (XW231) pooled with 33 and 230 Squadron based at RAF Benson dropped in twice to each of the 'spectacles'.
Left to right: Puma HC.2 (XW231) pooled with 33 and 230 Squadron using callsign 'Vortex 302'.
Left to right: Puma HC.2 (XW231) pooled with 33 and 230 Squadron using callsign 'Vortex 302'.
Chinook HC.4 (ZH777) better known as 'Peggy'.
Left to right: Chinook HC.4 (ZH777) better known as 'Peggy' it is painted to commemorate 100 years of 28(R) Squadron it is based at RAF Odiham.
Left to right: Chinook HC.4 (ZH777) better known as 'Peggy' using callsign 'Vortex 282'..
Left to right: Chinook HC.4 (ZH777) better known as 'Peggy'.
Merlin HC3i (ZJ118 'B') using callsign 'Commando 510' of 846 Naval Air Squadron.
Left to right: AgustaWestland Merlin HC3i (ZJ118 'B') using callsign 'Commando 510' of 846 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton.
The HC3i is an interim upgrade between the RAF HC3 and the future Royal Navy Commando Merlin (HC4). Seven airframes were upgraded to HC3i standard due to the retirement of the Sea King Commandos. This HC.3i will remain in service until the 'marinised' Merlin HC4s become available in the early 2020s. The HC3i upgrade includes folding tails, folding main rotors, better salt water-proofing of key components and lashing down points for operations aboard ships). This work was undertaken as part of the Merlin Life Sustainment Programme (MLSP).
Left to right: Merlin HC3i (ZJ118 'B') using callsign 'Commando 510' of the Royal Navy.
Left to right: Merlin HC3i (ZJ118 'B') using callsign 'Commando 510' of the Royal Navy.