LFA7 Mach Loop

 

LFA7 is one of the UK military designated training areas and covers most of Wales. Within the picturesque Snowdonia National park and situated between Dolgellau and Dinas Mawddwy, there are a number of locations where the RAF and USAF pilots train and hone their low flying skills at heights between 100 and 250ft. Collectively the area is known to photographers and enthusiasts as the 'Mach Loop'. A sturdy pair of walking boots and good outdoor clothing are a must if you wish to attempt as the weather frequently changes in this area.

 

 

There is no timetable for aircraft flying through. Thats part of the fun - you never know whats coming next, although with the advent of radio scanners and virtual (mobile) aircraft radar the element of surprise can be reduced.

Over the years most of the RAF aircraft inventory has used the area, from the small training jets - the BAE Hawk right up to the C130 Hercules transport. The United States Air Force also uses the area to train its F15 fighter pilots and Special Forces MV-22 Osprey and MC130 Hercules crews.

 

 

Popular locations to visit include Bwlch, Cad East & Cad West (both in the shadow of Cadair Idris) and Corris. These are all easily accessible if you are reasonably fit. For the more adventurous there is Bluebell or Lumberjack. Take plenty of food and drink and watch out for Ticks and Midges.

 

 

You can visit any time of the year, keep an eye on NOTAMS that advise of avoids in the area. Occasionally helicopters will be carrying out surveys or ferrying equipment to inaccessible places and the Air Ambulance attending accidents may close the low level circuit. Jets will always travel through the loop in one direction (its an informal one way system) and may pass your location once or if you are lucky twice.

 

 

If you do decide to go and visit, please park sensibly and remember to take your rubbish home and close any gates behind you. Enjoy!

 

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