FLAG Log


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100 Squadron Hawks on the flightline at Leeming. In 2017 the Sqn will celebrate its centenary


Wed 19 July 2017         CAS/FLAG visit to Valley - book with Colin Fawcett of CAS


Fri 2 June 2017            CAS/FLAG visit to Lakenheath - book with Colin Fawcett of CAS


Thurs 25 May 2017                      RAF Menwith Hill visit


Tues 28 March 2017                   RAF Leeming visit to 29 Sqn det.


Sat 18 March 2017                     100 Sqn Centenary Event, RAF Leeming


Tues 13 December 2016            FLAG Xmas Lunch


Wed 12 October 2016                RAF Leeming visit


Tues 20 September 2016         RAF Mildenhall visit


Friday 22 July 2016                RAF Leeming Families Day


Tues 14 June 2016                   RAF Leeming visit


Wed 20 April 2016,                 CAS/FLAG RAF Valley visit - to be rescheduled


Mon 14 March 2016,              CAS/FLAG Lecture @ Middlesbro' Municipal Golf Club 


Thurs 10 December 2015      FLAG Christmas Lunch & Lecture - RAF Leeming Officers Mess


Thurs 15 October 2015          RAF Leeming visit


Wed 16 September 2015        RAF Linton on Ouse visit


Saturday 6 June 2015           RAF Leeming Families Day


Tuesday 12 May 2015           RAF Mildenhall visit


Wednesday 6 May 2015      RAF Lakenheath visit


Wednesday 15 April 2015   RAF Leeming visit




           ___________________

 


FLAG VisCom

If you wish the box below can be used to send an e-mail directly to leemingaviation@gmail.com


*Don't forget to add your name!

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Melissa Peakman captured these images of the Hogs' arrival at Leeming on Monday 11 July to participate in Exercise Jaded Thunder

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Dave Thompson's Diary - FLAG Visit to 29 Sqn @ RAF Leeming 28 March 2017


 

When the ten Typhoons of 29 Squadron arrived at RAF Leeming from their base at Coningsby on Friday, the 24th, it was assumed that it was to be a long sojourn because of the impending work being carried out to their home base runway, but as it turned out , that was not to be the case !

 

The work at Coningsby was cancelled but because of the amount of planning which went into the impending move it was decided to still go ahead with the detachment but to reduce it from one month to one week which is good for the air and ground crews but not the local Leeming spotting fraternity !

 

At this stage in their Typhoon conversion training the crews are carrying out air combat manoeuvres both against themselves as well as the resident Hawks and the Teesside based Cobham Falcons . They were flying two sorties of four aircraft per day with launches at 10:00 and 14:00 with a mission time of around one hour per sortie. Their final day is was Thursday the 30th with both launches returning directly to Coningsby and not landing back at Leeming . 

 

With thanks to our hosts S/L Jamie Norris of 29 Squadron who was the 2013 season Typhoon display pilot, F/O Jonny Coates who is on a holding post with 100 Squadron , F/L Bobby of 29 Squadron who is converting from the GR4 and another Flight Lieutenant whose name I never got but has just returned from a two and a half year exchange posting flying the F-18 with the USN.

 

The squadron was based in the northern HAS area and noted today between 14:00 and 16:00 were :

Gate

ZH552                        Tornado F3

 

HAS 19

ZK382/BG      Typhoon T3              

 

14:00 sortie recovering

ZK354/BY      Typhoon FGR4

ZK373/373     ditto

ZJ810/810       Typhoon T3

 

15:00 sortie

ZJ805/BD       Typhoon T3

ZJ806/BE        ditto

ZK381/381     ditto

ZJ930/930       Typhoon FGR4                     

 

100 Squadron

Flying

XX191/CC      Hawk T1A

XX285/CK     ditto                                        special 100/100 colour scheme

 

Flightline

XX348/348     Hawk T1A                              208 c/s

XX203/CF      ditto

XX200/CO     ditto

 

Visitor

XX319                        Hawk T1A                              Red Arrows

 

Overshoots

ZA546/038     Tornado GR4                          c/s Marham 48 c14:10

ZA614/076     ditto                                        c/s Marham 25            c15:00

 

DET

28 March 2017

 


Dave Thompson's Diary - FLAG Visit to Leeming 14th June   2016

 

The sun shone throughout the day on what was our first visit of the year to our host station and as ever ‘Meds’ provided us with a full programme including the now obligatory visit to the flight-line but it was just a pity that the Hawks were a little further away from us than usual !

 

One of the 100 Squadron pilots is Flt Lt Chris Lyndon-Smith who in a previous life flew a tour with The Red Arrows , as well as having being a GR4 pilot and a Hawk A2 QFI. He gave us an in depth illustrated talk on his time with the Reds including a good insight into what goes on behind the scenes and the side of the Reds the general public do not see . Over the years I have become quite blasé about the Reds and their aerobatic display and would often not watch them at all ‘having seen it all before’ but having not seen them for a few years I took the opportunity at this years Teesside Airshow the previous month to actually stand and watch them throughout the display. Although restrictions may have been placed upon them post-Shoreham I thought they were superb and judging from the reaction of the other 17,999 people there – I think they did too ! What was particularly interesting was Chris’s explanation of how they deal with any mid-air emergency which might occur during their routine and how it is normally dealt with by a ‘sitting on your hands’ approach and flying it through and only in the highest of emergencies would they break formation and then in a very regimented and pre-planned manoeuvre to release the jet with the problem . The biggest worry for the pilots would appear to be not selecting your smoke correctly as this would occur a financial penalty and at the seasons end the defaulters kitty can be quite full ! 

 

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Leeming A/C Notes


Gate

The Tornado now sits on the gate ‘proper’ after it’s move from outside the 90 SUHQ over the previous weekend , 11-12 June . The aircraft is situated on a gravel hard-standing alongside the guardroom and outside of the base perimeter but it may still be advisable to seek permission for photography before doing so.


ZH552                        Tornado F3                 carries the insignia of 11 , 23 and 29 Sqdns on its tail

 

RTP

ZA600                        Tornado GR4              fuselage hulk dumped outside of RTP hangar amongst

                                                                       several wing and tail sections . All were unmarked except

                                                                       for the 40th Anniversary special tail from ZD788 



 

100 Squadron

The usual squadron flightline apron is currently undergoing some maintenance work and the Hawks are using the VAS apron outside of the old control tower . Noted parked out and/or flying were ;

XX332/CD

XX321/CI

XX329/CJ

XX255/CL

XX230/CM

XX256                                                            208 special tail

 

Hangar

XX203/CC

XX258/CE

XX284/CN

XX200/CO

XX265/CP

XX239/239

 

11AEF/NUAS

G-BYUF         Tutor T1                     circuits

G-BYWP        ditto                            ditto

 

Visitors

ZA541/034     Tornado GR4              c/s Lossie 08 . Full stop landing for RTP !

ZA602/XV-F                                      c/s Baton 22 , circuits , 15 special tail , large XV in red        

 

With thanks to Meds , Smythy and Colin Fawcett .

 

DET

15 June 2016

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Exercise Volcanex 1997  - "Plus ca change"



FLAG member Mick Britton  recalls a previous Anglo-French exercise at Leeming -


Whilst Ex Griffin Strike looked very interesting it reminded me of a previous chapter of Anglo-French military co-operation in the mid 1990s that resulted in the formation of the Franco-British European Air Group that ran a series of Volcanex Exercises, the 2nd of which (in July '97) used Leeming. The French sent a contingent of Mirage 2000s and F1s (interestingly from the same Normandie-Niemen Esc which were here with Rafale) whilst the based F3s and Hawks also participated. The exercise was mainly conducted over Wales as I recall. Attached are a couple of pics of the Mirage 2000s and the badge of the FBEAG which is still in existence but now primarily concerned with CSAR if its website is any guide.

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FLAG 2015 Xmas Lecture - Exercise Northern Venture  or "Around the World at 90 knots"

Our guest speaker at the FLAG Christmas Lunch was Squadron Leader Tony Cowan MBE BA FRIN RAF (Rtd).

A former air cadet, Tony joined the RAF in 1969, training on the JP and Varsity before flying operationally on the C-130 and Nimrod, including the 1982 Falklands conflict in the latter. He was awarded a commendation for long range patrols during this conflict which included a record breaking flight of 19 hrs 5 mins !

Ground tours followed including the Officers Command School, OC Ops Sqn at 399 Signals Unit and MOD Press Office. During these appointments Tony joined 5 AEF flying the DH Chipmunk. This led in 1996 to organizing and leading a long range flight in the Chipmunk to Moscow and back to mark the 50 year anniversary of the aircraft. In 1997 Exercise Northern Venture followed, when Tony with Ced Hughes and Bill Purchase, circumnavigated the northern hemisphere in two Chipmunks. Tony was awarded the MBE in 1998 for services to aviation.

On leaving the RAF in 1998 he flew the BN Islander from DTV airport for the NE police followed by a tour with the Scottish Air Ambulance with the same aircraft. Throughout this period, as a member of the RAF Reserves, he continued to fly with 11 AEF at Leeming on the Bulldog and Tutor.

Currently Tony flies the Cessna 182 and 208B for Peterlee Parachute Centre as well as having a share in a Victa T5 Airtourer. He both a trustee and Regional  Co-ordinator for the UK Civil Air Patrol and also Captain of the Mayor of Durham’s Ceremonial Bodyguard which dates back to 1602. Apart from Her Majesty the Queen, the Durham Mayor is the only person in the UK with a personal armed ceremonial bodyguard.


Exercise Northern Venture YouTube  link     recently uploaded by the family of Sqn Ldr Ced Hughes


Flight International "Exercise Northern Venture " article , 14-20 May 1997 


One of the Chipmunks which participated in Northern Venture is WP962, shown  below displayed in the RAF Museum at Hendon

Photo from the flickr collection of Moshi Anahory

 

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Read about the Service history of WP962 by clicking on the pdf icon below.

Chipmunk WP962. pdf
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RAPCON website 


An update by Graeme Hewitt

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One of the weblinks featured on the Info Zone page of our FLAG website is "RAPCON" (end of page), the acronyn for the website of the Runhall Aviation Photographers Consortium which features the work of four aviation photographers including myself.

In addition to covering airshows around the world, the galleries feature military exercises and deployments as well as routine operations.


In recent weeks, no less than 13 new photo galleries have been launched on the Rapcon website, all of which reflect a busy 17 days spent by Andrew Jewson and myself at various bases from coast to coast in the USA.  

 

Our travels took in 4 airshows & visits to "the fence" at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma (AZ) & Naval Air Facility El Centro (CA) in order to witness the biannual Weapons & Tactics Instructor course.  The WTI course attracts participating Marine Corps flying assets from other bases spread throughout the USA and also from Japan.  It is estimated that over 150 fixed & rotary wing aircraft took part in total.

 

Included in the photo galleries referred to above, is one gallery dedicated to USMC Squadron VMFA-121 which started working up operations late 2012 with the F-35B Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter).  By July 2015, the squadron was able to declare initial operational capability (IOC) with 10 aircraft up to fighting standard & ready for deployment.  The F-35B is currently on order for the Royal Air Force and  Royal Navy and indeed first production aircraft are already in use for training RAF aircrew at Edwards AFB (CA) and for RN aircrew at MCAS Beaufort (SC).  We should see the first of these arrive in the UK by 2018.


We hope you enjoy browsing the photo galleries by following the      rapcon weblink


 

Leeming's Gate Guardian - A Brief History by Mick Britton

Earlier this year, as described in the feature in the Lee Zone of the website, Leeming replaced its Javelin Gate Guardian with a Tornado F3.

One of the final batch of eight Tornado F3s built by BAe at Warton for the cancelled  Omani order, constructor no. AT044 was delivered to the RAF (who were forced to takeover the order much against their wishes as they felt no need to increase the fleet)  at Coningsby on 11 September 1992, serialled ZH552.  Originally operated by 56 ( R ) Sqn. the F3OCU, coded AZ, it was briefly loaned to the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) the following year  for trial work on the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) being returned after two months away. In June 1994 it was passed to the Air Warfare Centre (AWC) that was responsible for developing F3 tactics and doctrine which operated it for two years. After a brief loan spell with XI Sqn. at RAF Leeming in 1996 the a/c returned to Coningsby for operation with 29 Sqn. coded BS being subsequently (upon disbandment) passed to V Sqn. who coded it CH in October 1998. Over the next few years it served with  both the remaining Coningsby squadrons , being coded AB with 56 ( R ) Sqn., before a year’s service with XI Sqn. at Leeming between October 03 and September 04 (almost certainly in unchanged markings and codes ). On its return home it moved, as part of the 56 ( R ) Sqn. complement to RAF Leuchars, thereby completing the set of F3 bases and upon the change of the tail code system gained the letters ST. Subsequently, if briefly, it served with both the other Leuchars squadrons, nos 43 and 111, who gave it the codes HW, in July 09.  With the retirement of the type from RAF service in March 2012 ZH552 was fortunate to escape the demise of its sisters when it was selected to serve with the small fleet of four F3s operated by QinetiQ  for carrying out trials of the Meteor Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile at Boscombe Down.  Although not one those specially modified to actually fire the missile it was used as a chase plane from which the firings were recorded on a hand held camera and this explains the four black cine camera mission symbols on the fuselage forward of the air intake. The trials were completed at the end of 2012 and all four of these aircraft were delivered to RTP at Leeming in July 2013. ZH552’s second lucky break was to be the last F3 scheduled for processing at the time when the decision was taken to dispose of Leeming’s long standing Javelin gate guard. For a station with a proud tradition a replacement was obviously required and what could be more appropriate than the last surviving F3 on the premises ! The F3 also has a FLAG link in that the logbook of our President , AVM Phil Roser  records hours flying sister aircraft (ZE/ZG a/c) while Station Commander at Leeming.           

 

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Above - ZH552 at Coningsby in the markings of 29 Squadron after its brief loan spell with XI Squadron at Leeming in 1996 - M. Britton

Below - Pristine and purposeful ZH552 returns to Leeming displaying the crests of all three Leeming F3 Wing Squadrons - C. Fawcett 

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Members' Photo Gallery

MemMber Colin

PAUL RAINFORD COLLECTION

Paul Rainford's four photos show some of the flying action during the first week of Joint Warrior 15-2 at RAF Leeming. For more of Paul's photos link to his collection found on     

                                                                                                                                       flickr

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COLIN FAWCETT COLLECTION

For more of Colin's photos link to his collections found on   flickr            and             photobucket

 

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Colin captured this 29 Squadron Typhoon departing Leeming during the FLAG visit on 15 October 2015

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Vulcan XH588 low over the Lake District during its Northern Route flight on 10th October photographed from Helm Crag by Colin Fawcett

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Indian Air Force SU-30's  at RAF Coningsby during  Ex Indradhanush- from Colin Fawcett's photos.  For more of Colin's photos link to his  

collections found on 


flickr                   and             photobucket



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Dave Thompson took this sad photo of Leeming's Javelin FAW4 gate guardian prior to the departure to its new home at The Jet Age Museum, Staverton, close to the original Gloster factory. XA634 spent most of its flying life as a trials aircraft for air refueling tests after modification by Airwork Limited.

Now replaced, as hoped for, by  Tornado F3 - see Lee Zone.

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FAF Mirage 2000N which particicpated in Capable Eagle at RAF Leeming               Photo by Colin Fawcett

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A sad reminder of Leeming's F3 glory days was this XXV Squadron "relic" seen during a FLAG visit to the RTP Facility in December 2012.                                                                      Photo by Linda Hornby

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- 100 Sqn Hawk XX285 in its anniversary colours displayed during the XXV Sqn Photo Day at Leeming 29 March 2008. Photos Leeming Aviation

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- In the expert hands of  FLAG Dep OIC Flt Lt James Harris,  XX285 makes a low pass during Leeming Families Day in 2009.

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BBMF Spitfire PR XIX, PM631 from Coningsby displays its classic lines also at Families Day 09.

 

Spitfire PM631

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Modern classic lines, but faster andlouder, Typhoon FRG4 of 3Squadron, Coningsby, is displayed by Sqn Ldr Scott Loughran.


3 Squadron

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With four Merlins in perfect harmony the BBMF Lancaster approaches crowd centre.

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 PA474 in the markings ofEE139, the "Phantom of the Ruhr, which flew its first 30 ops with 100 Sqn , currently flying Hawks at Leeming.


Phantom of the Ruhr

 

Photo by Linda Hornby

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Hurricane 11c, PZ865 completes the BBMF display at Families Day,  a highlight of the FLAG year.

 

Hurricane PZ865

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Close up with the Sea King of 202 Sqn as the winching demo begins at Leeming's northern HAS area.

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Families Day 2010 included this100 Sqn Hawk display team which included our FLAG OIC Sqn Ldr Al Dolding.

Why not "Team Excalibur" as agreat name ?  

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Two participants in Exercise Joint Warrior 14-1 at Lossiemouth . Photos by Bernie Hinds