Low Flying WalesPhotographer: Frank Grealish
1st June 2009Location:
Bwlch (Mach Loop), Gwynedd, UK - Wales
In June IrishAirPics paid a visit to the famous Mach Loop in Wales for some low flying action. The Mach Loop, more properly known as the Machynlleth Loop, is part of LFA7 (Low Flying Area 7). LFA7, and other low flying areas in the UK Low Flying system, allowing UK and allied air forces to practise low flying.
Most of the time fixed wing aircraft are restricted to an altitude of 250ft above ground level but there are times when these aircraft can go as low as 100ft.
Seeing as it was my first time in the Loop and I was travelling without a guide I decided to head for the Bwlch (pronounced Bulk). This is one of the easier spots to get to, parking is easy too.
I had only just pulled into the car park when the weather check Hawk came through. After seeing that I proceeded to climb but with a camera close to hand in case of any more sudden arrivals.
The weather for the day was good and sunny, traffic in the Loop that day was mostly Hawks but some Tornado GR4s and a Hercules made multiple passes.
By all accounts this was a good day for a beginner, some of the guys on the Bwlch with me talked of weeks when only one Hawk came through during the entire week.
At the end of the day I climbed back down with camera in hand just in case something else popped up... which it did just as I had started packing up my camera gear... I put my gear on the back seat of the car and was closing the door when I looked up to see a Tornado completely filling my field of view. It was impressive to say the least!
I definitely recommend paying a visit to the Mach Loop, it can be hours of boredom mixed with seconds or minutes of action but the photographic opportunities, when presented, are excellent.