Shaun Schofield's 2013 blogGAR Entries

JAN 22 2013
blogGAR: RAF Brize Norton

Spotting can often be somewhat hit and miss these days, even at a busy base such as Brize. Thankfully, my visit proved to be very much a hit. The tone was set upon arriving at the 26 end by the appearance of a visiting Merlin from nearby RAF Benson, followed shortly after by a local Hercules returning to base, both in stunning early morning light that would last for much of my time on the fence.

Whenever I go to Brize, I like to try and bag at least one of each of the locally based types. Thatís not so easy these days, with the VC10s in particular becoming an ever rarer bird, but it seemed that it was to be my day, as not long after the Hercís arrival, the Voyager started up and departed. The RAFs newest C-17, ZZ178, also went for a jolly, performing a couple of touch and gos before departing on a local sortie.

Three out of five by mid-morning was pretty good going, but would soon get better as one of the three TriStars out on the pan taxied out and departed. As far as the VC10 is concerned, itís very much a case of catch them while you can. With my own departure time approaching, it was looking likely I would miss the chance to catch one, but sure enough, the tell-tale note of four Conways soon rang around the airfield. After a typically noisy, smoky departure, we were treated to a couple of go-arounds, with the glorious light still prevalent. She was soon joined by the returning C-17, which bashed the circuit some more, long after we had called it a day.

Five out of five bagged; mission accomplished. With my main goal achieved, the array of visiting aircraft provided the icing on the cake. Visible on the pan was a very smart Egyptian Hercules. Sadly, it didnít move all morning, but there was another visitor that did depart in the shape of another C-17; a newly delivered jet to the USAF from McChord AFB. A pair of Army Lynx made short stops, whilst a Chinook spent some time overflying the area before performing a couple of practice approaches. With other aircraft spotted around the base too, there was plenty to keep us entertained in between the localsí movements.

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