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Low Level Aviation Photographs

By Alan Chadwick

Just by way of both an introduction, and a brief explanation as to how  I became involved with the world of low  level fast jet photography. My name is Alan Chadwick and in 2003, after taking early retirement, we exchanged the daily routine of commuting into London for a more rural existence and moved to the Shropshire Hills near the border with Wales, and spent several years fulfilling a long held dream of renovating an old farmhouse.

By chance one day (fortunately, in hindsight, after the house was finished!), I Googled for information on what setting to use to photograph the Hercules aircraft that occasionally flew  low over the house. As happens when you Google, it’s easy to get side-tracked from the original search, and I found myself reading about a place called the Mach Loop, which it turned out was only an hour or so drive from home. The Loop was apparently one of the areas in the UK where the RAF carried out low level training.  Of more interest was the fact that there were apparently locations where you could photograph the aircraft, and even a group of enthusiasts who regarded this as an hobby.

So, In August 2010, out of curiosity I paid my first visit to one of these locations -  Cad West, on the side of  Cadair Idris -  and immediately became hooked on the strangest of hobbies. I say strange because it involves hiking several hundred feet up steep hillsides, and then waiting, often in poor weather,  for hours on end for a fast jet to appear. I remain hooked and in the intervening years I have travelled to the loop once or twice a week to get my fix. I have also extended my horizons and travelled to other locations to similarly take photographs of  military jets at low level in the USA, France and Switzerland.

I’ve created this website to share some of my  favourite images from these visits to the Loop and the other low fly locations . To view click  here, or on the “PHOTOGRAPHS” button at the top of the page.

With grateful thanks to the pilots of the RAF and USAF, and my fellow “togs” for the company.