Air to Air Photography
Falklands Islands Flypast
June 17, 2007
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Falklands Islands conflict, the Ministry of Defence organised a 49 aircraft flypast to represent the Squadrons which flew in 1982. This was a salute to the veterans that fought in the Falklands campaign. It was part of the National Falklands 25 Commemorative Event in London. As veterans marched up The Mall the flypast was reviewed by HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of York and the Prime Minister.

Apart from the 27 fixed wing aircraft, the flypast included 22 helicopters. Sadly for safety reasons Harriers were not allowed to take part in the flypast as they are single engine and cannot glide in case of engine failure and so avoid built up areas. It was reported that a number of Falklands veterans actually flew in the flypast. With low cloud it was marginal whether the flypast would take place at all, fortunately everything fitted into place

I was squashed at the back of VC-10 C.1K (XV105) which was resplendent in its new 101 Squadron 90th anniversary black tail scheme. You could say I had one of the worst views of the flypast, the opportunity to photograph Hawks air to air could not to be missed however. The windows on the VC-10 C.1Ks in particular are difficult to shoot through, due to the extra layer of distorting plastic which covers them. The port side windows with the Royal Navy Hawks alongside were unusable, as some greasy translucent coating was smeared on every one.
Falklands flypast
Hawk T.1A (XX248 'CJ') over the Norfolk Broads

Element 1 (Alt 1,500 feet) - 5x Dominie from 55 Squadron, representing the Victor tankers of 55 Squadron which supported aircraft during the Falklands conflict.
Element 2 (Alt 1,300 feet) - 2x C-130 Hercules (callsigns Atlantic 1 and 2).
Element 3 (Alt 1,500 feet) - 5x Typhoon F.2 of 3 and 11 Squadron (callsigns Typhoon 1-5).
Element 4 (Alt 1,700 feet) - VC-10 with 4x Hawk from 100 Squadron and Royal Navy FRADU (callsign Tartan).
Element 5 (Alt 1,300 feet) - Nimrod (callsign Nimrod 61).
Element 6 (Alt 1,500 feet) - 9x Hawks of the Red Arrows flying in a Vulcan formation.
The formation gathered at the 'Southwold Hold' at 3,000 feet in Suffolk once in position we headed for London and Buckingham Palace for 17:00.
Falklands flypast
On the starboard side a pair of 100 Squadron Hawk T.1As (XX248 'CJ' and XX247 'CM') from RAF Leeming.
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The Southwald Hold is a racetrack route which is centred on Southwold on the Suffolk coast and passes over the North Sea.
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The right hand turns often give the best angles for shots over the ground or sea.
Falklands flypast
Hawk T.1A (XX248 'CJ') over a Norfolk airfield
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The formation was quite loose leading up to the flypast, only closing in tightly when flying through banks of cloud to retain visual contact.
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The 100 Squadron Hawk was often flying below the VC-10s wing tip, but mostly on turns some clear shots were possible.
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The run in over London.