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Local military activity

From Alan B

Sunday, 19 May 2013

I wonder if anyone can tell me why there's been so much military activity over/around the valley lately?

I presume there's some kind of training going on, but where exactly is it going on, and what does it entail?

I'm particularly interested in the Chinook helicopters I've been seeing, and also what appeared to be a huge low-flying cargo plane over a week ago.
any information and/or links gratefully received.

From S.M.Morville.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Coming over from the Dales Keighley, Haworth, Oxenhope etc. has been on the U.K Low flying route for the last forty years or more. Modern terrain following radar is ideally suited to our local geography so the military put it to good use. The population density is low so the M.O.D. consider it low risk as far as potential accident is concerned. As many of our overseas operations involve mountainous regions it is very valuable practice.

From Rev Tony Buglass

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

I think the point is that there seems to have been a change in low-flying activity recently.

I used to live in Amble, Northumberland, in the 1980s, and had most of NATO flying down our street on their way into the Otterburn training ranges. Since we moved into Mytholmroyd 7 years ago there has been the very occasional Chinook or Hercules, and the occasional Hawk on his way home to Valley. Very rarely there were Harriers (before the Tories sold them all off) and Tornadoes. Although the terrain is good for low-flying, there is a very narrow gap between the patterns for Leeds-Bradford and Manchester, so I suspect most of the heavy metal usually takes a different route. However, in the last week or two I have seen several Tornado GR4s, and heard something which might have been a Tornado but didn't sound quite right - could have been a F15E.

So, it appears there is a change in the pattern - possibly because 617 Sqn is due to go to Afghanistan in a few months, but I would have thought being based at Lossiemouth gave them plenty real mountains to fly around. Who knows?

From Bill R

Monday, 3 June 2013

I worked alongside the 4 services in the 70s and 80s. Flying low became restricted to 500 feet pretty much everywhere to spread the load across the country.

Traffic might just be in transit, it is very unlikely that the radar is being tested, a real test would need fast speed which is restricted in populated areas. We used to fly aircraft well out to sea to test properly. Maybe the law of averages, you have to practice somewhere. And fuel is very expensive so I don't expect this to be much of a trend.