A transit between two airshows at the extremes
of the British Isles, one on the East Coast – the Sunderland International
Airshow – and the other one in the far South – the RNAS Culdrose
Air Day -, provided an ideal opportunity for an stunning flight through
low flying areas of the Lake District and Wales.
One of the routes taken in, is better known as the Machloop. Although
fast jest are often seen in the Machloop the denomination which was given
to this part of the Low Flying Area 7 (LFA7) has nothing to do whatsoever
with the quantative measure of the speed of sound, commonly known as the
The Machloop derives it’s name rather from one of the villages –
Machynletth - which is located on this loop trough the hills of Wales.
Further information can be found on www.machloop.co.uk.
After we had announced our intentions the pass
through the Machloop on social media well in advance, some spotters from
the Lake District kindly requested if we could take in their area as well.
We happily obliged and from Newcastle airport – where the Bronco resided
during the Sunderland airshow - we made our way towards Cockermouth for
an entry over Crummock Water to put us in the right direction towards Lake
Windermere, leaving the Lake District’s shores near Cark.
A low level flight over the Irish Sea along
the coast while flying in degrading weather brought us towards Wales.
After negotiating some more low cloud, a few rain showers and a low flying
military Beech 200 we finally took our approach the famous Machloop via
Bala Lake entering at Cad, a narrow passage providing excellent photo
opportunities for spotters from both sides of the pass. A left turn at
Corris Corner brings one heading for Machynletth, the village giving it’s
name to the loop. From there on one proceeds north east and north to make
a final turn to the west towards the Spur and Bwlch, past Bluebell on
the left. A further left turn completes the loop and brings one back to
the starting point at Cad. All-in-all very good fun indeed as is readily
testified by the in-cockpit video and the many pictures taken from various
locations on the ground.
After the Machloop we proceeded south to leave the British shores again
between Pembrey and Swansea, for good measure Lundy Island was taken in
halfway across the water on the way to the Cornish coast. Following the
coastline west just of Newquay all the way to Land’s End, amazing
sights were plentiful. The weather had by now cleared to outright gorgeous
and we decided add in a short trek west to the beautiful Scilly Isles
before returning to land at HMS Seahawk (aka RNAS Culdrose).
A truly incredible flight over many of the most beautiful areas of the
British Isles, interspersed with some very exhilarating flying opportunities
sums it all up. An experience not to forget easily.