As a new face on GAR, Gordon Jones thought he’d put together a BlogGAR to introduce himself to those who don’t know him. What better way to do that than to share a small selection of his work over the last six years….
2007 / 2008
Low level photography dominated these years for me. Helicopters are rare in the Mach Loop and who can blame them, with the fast jets performing high energy turns at 250 ft. This Merlin HC3 was the first one I caught.
Like many I’ve always had a soft spot for the Harrier and I made many visits to RAF Cottesmore as I could over these years. The Harrier was deployed on OP HERRICK at this time and activity at times were very low but this photo was a highlight. Returning from Afghanistan with four drop tanks and a centre line baggage pod, this was a rare fit for the Harrier and the mission markings on the nose provided the icing on the cake.
The Hawk T1 was a staple of low level photography for these years and this one stands out for me. The low level navigation sortie with the Royal Naval student in the back seat gives me a quick wave before returning to his map, as the instructor in the front seat flies the aircraft.
2009 / 2010
More low level photography and one highlight was a series of passes from this RAF Dominie from 55(R) Squadron. It’s not often you get a business jet head-on, at low level!
The second to last Tornado F3 I caught at low level. I’ve chosen this one, as opposed to the final one, as it was the 90th anniversary RAF special tail from 43(F) Squadron.
I’d been making visits to RAF Coningsby to shoot the Typhoons as they came into service but in 2009 I started to make much more frequent visits. This Typhoon F2 from 3(F) Squadron pops his braking chute as he comes into land, the only time I’ve caught one with the chute trailing behind.
A Nimrod R1 from 51 Squadron returning to RAF Waddington, a year before it was retired. I didn’t really get enough photos of the Nimrod before it went, but I was glad I did grab a few chances to catch one.
The mighty Vulcan B1 XH558 displaying at RIAT 2010. What a sight!
A Tornado GR4 caught in the Mach Loop as it banks over in the winter sun. Since the Tornado fleet took over the CAS role in Afghanistan they have flown more low level sorties.
2011 / 2012
An Apache hovers over the Salisbury Plain with a CRV-7 pod under one wing and a drop tank over on the other. This Apache was taking part in Pashtun Jaguar, a final training exercise before troops are deployed to Afghanistan.
A RC-135 Cobra Ball lifts climbs away from RAF Mildenhall. Cobra Balls are a rare sight in the UK and I’m very glad I got this one! The chance of catching some interesting aircraft as they transit through the UK has seen me spend a lot of time at Mildenhall over the years.
My first 6 Squadron jet after it stood up again with the Typhoon.
A RC-135 Rivet Joint arrives at RAF Mildenhall. I’ve definitely developed a mild obsession with shooting these white tops!
A VX-1 marked P-8A Poseidon lifting off from RAF Leuchars on a Joint Warrior sortie. Another rare aircraft for the UK.
The Northolt Nightshoots were something I was late getting involved with, but I’m glad I finally did. This Sea King is from my first one.
I look forward to contributing much more.
Until next time……..