Salisbury Plain - 28/01/16

Salisbury Plain - 28/01/16

Postby Thommo95 on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 8:10 pm

With the weather forecast looking superb and a free day from Uni, it would have been rude not to get out and about with the camera. I headed to Salisbury plain courtesy of Duncan and Gary, thanks for the lift and company chaps.

Within minutes of arriving the distant drone of a helicopter could be heard and excitingly it was a Swiss AF Cougar. Unfortunately that's as close as they or the Norwegians would come, as they continually exercised in the distance throughout the day, but fascinating to see the tactics employed by these helicopters.

The first movement came from a Gazelle in stunning morning light, I've been to the plain 4 times now and have had a Gazelle on every visit.

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No sooner had the Gazelle departed the next movement came quickly, a Squirrel.

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With the departure of the Squirrel, there was a 45 minute gap between movements but gave chance to watch the Swiss extracting forces in the distance by dragging them on a rope beneath the Cougar!
The next movement was my personal star of the day, we spotted a large helicopter in the distance and initially thought it was a Boscombe Sea King but it headed are way and turned out to be a Boscombe based Merlin HM2. It began to circle high above the plain before it rapidly descended, this manor of flying continued with some very impressive flying for such a large helicopter, I had never seen a Merlin do a pedal turn, I have now! :rock:

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A low wheels up pass diagonally across us with a slight "wing waggle" signalled the departure of the Merlin, but again it was a very short wait for the next movement with an Apache arriving 15 minutes later. A first for me was seeing an Apache put down on the grass, which the crew did for around hour on varied locations across the plain, including on a slight slope providing some rather unique image possibilities. While the Apache was conducting its training, the squirrel from earlier as well as the morning Gazelle returned. 2 Chinooks also paid a fleeting visit transiting low across our location.

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This all happened before lunch so with a quick bite to eat in the lull, it wasn't long before movements resumed. Another star item for me was this Lynx AH9A another first for me.
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The final movement I photographed was a Chinook HC4 that came onto the plain alongside the Lynx.
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With the light deteriorating due to the encroaching weather we called it a day with another Apache and Squirrel carrying out training but all in all it was an excellent day!

Thanks again to Duncan for driving and Gary for the company,

Nick
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Thommo95

Re: Salisbury Plain - 28/01/16

Postby RickIngham on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 8:23 pm

Great colours and pin sharp Nick - very nice! You won't want to know what went on to Deptford after the cloud rolled in then back out!
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Re: Salisbury Plain - 28/01/16

Postby Thommo95 on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 8:27 pm

Cheers Rick, it wouldn't be something Swiss or Norwegian per chance? :wall: :ghost: :mad:
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Re: Salisbury Plain - 28/01/16

Postby RickIngham on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 8:37 pm

Presumably the first chance to snap the Chinook HC5 (All the HC3's are at fleetlands for conversion and the one that went to Deptford had fat tanks and a long nose!) You had a great day anyway and in 9 years on the plain I've never got a Navy Merlin so good going!
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Re: Salisbury Plain - 28/01/16

Postby Airwolfhound on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 5:43 pm

Fabulous shots :clap:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/

Agile, mobile and hostile ;-)
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Re: Salisbury Plain - 28/01/16

Postby StandardTom on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 6:53 pm

That's a lovely set mate, and that Navy Merlin might just be one of the catches of the year!
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Cheers, Tom.
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Re: Salisbury Plain - 28/01/16

Postby theskunk on Mon 01 Feb 2016, 1:00 pm

A great set of photos Nick, better than mine! A good days spotting on the plain, if a bit cold.
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