The low fly areas are a lot quieter than when I first started to visit them in 2006, mainly due to reduction of pilot training and the disbandment of a number of frontline squadrons. The Tornado F3, Harrier and Dominie were all semi-regular visitors and Hawks from RAF Valley filled in the gaps between the frontliners. This is one of the factors that has seen me spending less and less time in Wales. In 2011 I only made only two visits and with this year I had got to December without a single visit so rather than finishing the year on zero I made the trip over.
Whilst the numbers are down on previous years you can still get some very interesting and striking photos from low level.
RAF Hawk T1 XX156 208 Sqn #2
Hawk T2 ZK016 #1
I knew that the shot below would be my last low level photo of 2012 as soon as I had took it. Why? In 2009 my last shot was a topside unmarked Hawk T2 with training rounds shot from the same location. This was basically the same shot again and it seemed fitting to end in the same way with a (relatively) new aircraft type without squadron markings. Sure enough, nothing else came through and I headed home after the sunlight had faded away.
Hawk T2 ZK016 #2