In recent times, military aircraft have been seen flying over parts of Wiltshire. Plane spotters could see several planes traveling over our county with people eager to take a picture or track its movements via flight tracking services.
From the B-52 bomber to the large military aircraft, skywatchers have been delighted as they remain curious as to why these planes are flying over Wiltshire.
In light of these frequent sightings of military aircraft, WiltshireLive investigated these flights and asked the RAF why such aircraft were being spotted in Wiltshire and the South West.
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What flights take place in the area and what is low-flying?
Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Bristol and a section of Gloucestershire are in Low Level Flying Zone 2, or LFA 2 for short, according to the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry of Defense says low level military flying is used to train military aircrew and is carried out across the UK.
For a fixed-wing aircraft, this means flying up to 250 feet from the ground while a rotary-wing aircraft, such as a helicopter, flies as low as 100 feet from the ground. However, low-level flying is generally not permitted in areas around airports or in cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants.
Low-level flying is generally not permitted in areas around airports or in towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants.
A browse of the MOD website shows that Wiltshire is not expected to see another operation or training exercise over its airspace, with one training exercise being carried out in Scotland.
What planes have we seen in Wiltshire in recent weeks?
Residents and planespotters took mesmerizing photos of A400M planes flying over Wiltshire where packages were dropped from the sky. Two large military planes were spotted flying very low around 6.30pm on Monday March 7 and saw aircraft teams practicing parachute drops as part of their training missions.
The A400M is specially designed for humanitarian aid and the transport of military equipment, also medi-vac certified, which means that the interior can be fitted out as a hospital.
The BAE system’s Hawk T1A – part of the RAF – also flew over Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset in early March. The RAF Lockheed Hercules vehicle took off from RAF Brize Norton before crossing Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset and Devon on Tuesday March 10.
The US Air Force‘s B-52 Stratofortress, which is a long-range nuclear and conventional heavy bomber, departed Brize Norton and flew over Wiltshire on Monday April 11 as it crossed the English Channel to France and India. Ukraine. The striking B-52H heavy bombers were also seen hovering over Swindon as they set off on their final mission in early April.
Army veteran Robert Rodgers spotted the rare sight of a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying another military helicopter in the sky over Salisbury Plain on Wednesday April 6.
Why are they flying over Wiltshire? What the military say about flights in the region
WiltshireLive understands that military aircraft fly over the county either as part of their flight path or to conduct training. RAF Brize Norton, based in Oxfordshire and near the Wiltshire border, sees many planes taking off and flying over the South West.
An RAF spokesman said: “The RAF uses a variety of locations across the UK for training as they offer complex airspace and different challenges for our pilots to ensure we stay ready and able to deploy to global operations at any time.”
The number of military aircraft flying over the southwest is not thought to have increased, but the more frequent sightings could be due to people noticing them more due to working from home or using software flight tracker to monitor aircraft.
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