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Living in the heart of Wales, we get a lot of low flying military aircraft on a daily basis. These fly as low as 250ft at over 450 knots but in certain area's can go as low as 100ft. One such place is the Mach Loop, situated in LFA7. This area is regularly used for low level training and has a few locations which is ideal for low level photography. If you want a pure adrenalin rush and the chance to get some fantastic photographs then the Mach loop is it. Its amazing to watch the aircraft as they fly through the twists and turns of the Welsh valleys, there's no better sight than to watch a Tornado GR4 rise up from the valley floor at 450 knots leaving behind ribbons of vapour.
Below you can find information on some of the photography locations as well as aircraft that use the Mach loop on a regular basis. For more information regarding other locations please check out the Fox2 website.

For information on accommodation, please click on the links below. All these are situated within a couple of miles of the Mach Loop.

Cross Foxes Hotel - 5 star hotel situated at the foot of Cadair Idris Mountain www.crossfoxes.co.uk

Dolgun Uchaf Bunkbarn - Situated on the outskirts of Dolgellau www.snowdonia-wales.net/acc/bunk/torrent.asp

The Red Lion - Situated in Dinas Mawddwy. A popular choice for Mach Loop visitors www.yllewcoch.co.uk

The Bwlch is situated five miles east of Dolgellau on the A470 road to Dinas Mawddwy. The Bwlch was the first place I used for shooting low level video. When looking down the valley from the main viewing location you get a fantastic view of the aircraft as they snake there way through the twist and turns of this very narrow valley. The aircraft usually come in from the east and can either turn left towards the Cad pass, straight on for Dolgellau or turn right and head up towards Bala.

Direction of flow - Right to Left
Hillside faces - North-East (Aircraft pass from East to West)
Type of shot - Topside or level pass

Grid Ref : SH802167
Latitude  : 52:44:06N
Longitude : 3:46:30W

Distance from Car park : Top Ledge 0.40 miles. Middle Ledge 0.29 miles.
Height Climbed : Top Ledge 423ft. Middle Ledge 236ft.




Cad West or the 'Fence' as it is also know is a very popular location. The stunning views combined with the opportunity to spot incoming aircraft with plenty of warning can make the 'Fence' almost irresistible to hill climbers. There is enough parking for approx 20 cars and a clearly marked path to the location. This location offers a number of 'Entry' points into the Mach Loop that pass via Cad West and onto Corris Corner.

Direction of flow - Left to Right
Hillside faces - South
Type of shot - Dramatic topside or level pass

Grid Ref : SH754139
Latitude  : 52:42:31N
 
Longitude : 3:50:42W

Distance from Car park : 0.40mile
Height Climbed : 307ft

Cad East sits in the shadow of the massive Cadair Idris at the beginning of the Tal Y Lyn valley. From the top its possible to see all the way to Snowdon and towards Bala so approaching aircraft can be seen very early. The car parking is also very good as it shares a large layby with Cad west. There is an access road that runs up the back of Cad East which does have very limited spaces for parking.

Direction of flow - Right to Left
Hillside faces - North-West (Aircraft pass from East to West)
Type of shot - Belly shots, head on, level pass

Grid Ref : SH755133
Latitude  : 52:42:13N
Longitude : 3:50:38W

Distance from Car park : 0.90mile
Height Climbed : 422ft

Corris Corner is located at the south western end of the Tall-Y-llyn pass, almost above the lake. From here the aircraft have 2 options, they can either go straight on over the lake or turn sharp left and follow the valley to Corris offering excellent topside views with the sun behind you. Take note, this location could be tricky in the afternoons due to the sun being in front of you especially during the winter hours.
There's a few more locations in Wales, including Heartbreak Hill which is located between the Bala and Dolgellau valley, the A5 Pass which fly's over Lake Ogwen, and the Dyfi Valley which is a new location north east of Dinas village. Another location is BlueBell hill which is located just east of the Bwlch.

Direction of flow - Right to Left
Hillside faces - North to South West
Type of shot - Topside

Grid Ref : SH734106
Latitude : 52:40:44N
Longitude : 3:52:26W

Distance from Carpark : 0.55mile
Height Climbed : 327ft

Bluebell sits deep in the valley looking up towards the Bwlch locations. There is a layby nearby to park in which has a ample space. Aircraft approach from Dinas from the right but give very little notice on their arrival. Lighting can be tricky at times but when its good it really can be the place to be.

Direction of flow - Right to Left
Hillside faces - North (Aircraft pass from East to West)
Type of shot - Side on or dipped wings

Grid Ref : SH 8268916085
Latitude  :  5243'46.70"N
Longitude :  344'19.19"W

Distance from Car park : 0.22 miles
Height Climbed : 320ft
(Steep climb)



Please note that most of these locations are on privately owned land so always make sure that care is taken when crossing gates or fences and please do not drop any litter.

Please check out Page 2 for information on aircraft that use the Mach Loop on a regular basis.
 

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Want to get in touch? Click on the icon above for email or you can ring Mark on 07817 905537

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All of MJA videos will also be available to view and share on YouTube. Click on the icon above for our new YT channel.

High Def Videos
Click the link for a list of HD videos from the loop and other locations.


 

 

 
 
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Copyright 2012 - All rights reserved
 


email: markjayne@mjaviation.co.uk
telephone: 07817 905537