October Catch Up - Nightshoot and SPTA

October Catch Up - Nightshoot and SPTA

Postby Thommo95 on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 7:31 pm

Back at school after the summer meant a lot less opportunity to get out and about and it wasn't until the 17th October until I was able to get out and about once more following my trip to Exercise Green Flag back at the beginning of September.

The 17th was the next installment of the excellent RAF Northolt Nightshoot, this being No.XV. It also fell on my birthday so it was a little impromptu birthday trip out for the Nightshoot. Phil Dawe from RAF Northolt put together an excellent array of aircraft the highlight of course being the RAF's C-130K which made it's final public appearance prior to the retirement of the type from RAF service. Also present was a French Air Force Caracal, and Securite Civil Tracker, RAF Vigilant T1 and RAF/ QinetiQ Rj-100 from the ETPS at Boscombe down.

On with the pictures, star of the show, the RAF C-130K

1. The smokey and extremely loud ground run that left a ringing in my ears for quite a while!
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Lockheed C-130K Hercules C1P - XV295 - Royal Air Force - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Norholt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

2.
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Lockheed C-130K Hercules C1P - XV295 - Royal Air Force - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Norholt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

3.
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Lockheed C-130K Hercules C1P - XV295 - Royal Air Force - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Norholt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

4. Glad to catch the Securite Civil Tracker as I missed out last time it was present at the event.
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Conair Turbo Firecat - F-ZBEH/ 20 - French Sécurité Civile - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Northolt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

5.
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Conair Turbo Firecat - F-ZBEH/ 20 - French Sécurité Civile - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Northolt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

6.
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Conair Turbo Firecat - F-ZBEH/ 20 - French Sécurité Civile - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Northolt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

7. The Caracal was another pleasant attendee and also turned its rotors on the night
Image
Eurocopter EC-725R2 Caracal - 2789/ SJ - French Air Force - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Northolt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

8.
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Eurocopter EC-725R2 Caracal - 2789/ SJ - French Air Force - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Northolt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

9.
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Eurocopter EC-725R2 Caracal - 2789/ SJ - French Air Force - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Northolt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

10. The ETPS Rj-100
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British Aerospace Avro 146-RJ100 - QQ101 - Royal Air Force (QinetiQ/ ETPS) - Northolt Nightshoot XV - RAF Northolt_NHT by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

Later on in the month on the 29th October during half term I headed alongside many others to SPTA for my first trip. I made the trip with my Dad with the forecast saying sunny spells we were optimistic. These feelings were reinforced when upon our arrival at SPTA there was a RAF Merlin hovering above the confined landing areas so a mad dash over to the woods resulted in a few awkwardly lit shots of the Merlin in among the trees and their autumnal colours.

11.
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EHI EH-101 Merlin HC3 - ZJ128/ M - Royal Air Force - Lindens_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

This kicked off what was to be a very enjoyable day on the Plain. So we left the woods and headed for the plain itself. With an overflight of a lynx and also plenty of activity in the distance it was becoming to look a rather slow day. But around midday a Squirrel popped in for a quick flurry on the plain.

12.
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Eurocopter AS-350BB Squirrel HT2 - ZJ249 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

13.
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Eurocopter AS-350BB Squirrel HT2 - ZJ249 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

14.
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Eurocopter AS-350BB Squirrel HT2 - ZJ249 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

Followed by this was the movement of the day and one of the rarest things I've seen in a very long time, a Gazelle carrying a large sensor/ camera pod on the horizontal bar.

15.
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Westland SA-341B Gazelle AH1 - ZB693 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh DZ_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

16.
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Westland SA-341B Gazelle AH1 - ZB693 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

17.
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Westland SA-341B Gazelle AH1 - ZB693 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

Following this an apache dropped into the confined landing zone and I just hoped that "Panther" would come and pay us a visit. Pay us a visit it did, it spent 1 hour 30mins covering the plain in front of us but unfortunately it stayed just high enough to avoid the ground entering the frame :roll: Fortunately the aggressive flying in the circuit provided a shot that has recieved a fair bit of attention on my Flickr!

An Apache topside-ish
18.
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Westland WAH-64D Longbow Apache AH1 - ZJ192 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on

19.
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Westland WAH-64D Longbow Apache AH1 - ZJ192 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

20. A pretty intimidating sight - head to head with an Apache!
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Westland WAH-64D Longbow Apache AH1 - ZJ192 - Army Air Corps - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

Late on in the day as the sun gradually got lower, and the light became really golden when "Vortex 575", a RAF Chinook HC3, dropped down onto the plain.

21.
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Boeing Chinook HC3 - ZH902 - Royal Air Force - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

22.
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Boeing Chinook HC3 - ZH902 - Royal Air Force - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

23.
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Boeing Chinook HC3 - ZH902 - Royal Air Force - Everleigh_SPTA by Nick Thompson95, on Flickr

A fantastic day and conclusion to October, the light throughout the day was sublime and it was great to catch up with Duncan, Gary and to meet TonyO.

Comments of course welcome,

Nick
Canon 500D - Canon 300mm F/4L IS USM
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Thommo95

Re: October Catch Up - Nightshoot and SPTA

Postby theskunk on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 9:03 pm

A great set of photos Nick, liken the first one of the Herc at Northolt and your top side Apache and the last Chinook shot. :clap:

Gary
Canon EOS 6D
Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS
Canon EF 100-400mm L IS

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Re: October Catch Up - Nightshoot and SPTA

Postby Thommo95 on Mon 02 Dec 2013, 9:52 pm

Thanks very much Gary :smile:
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