Mach Loop

Mach Loop

Where Can I See These Low Flying Jets In The Mach Loop?
The Mach Loop is a set of valleys, situated between Dolgellau in the north, and Machynlleth in the south (and from which the Mach Loop gets its name), which are regularly used for low level flight training, with flying as low as 250 feet (76 metres) from the nearest terrain. To the south of the Mach Loop there is an area called Tactical Training Area 7T, in which, at specified times, the aircraft may fly as low as 100 feet (30.5 Metres).

When Do They Fly ?
Generally the jets fly Monday to Friday all year round & certainly not weekends or bank holidays. The Royal Air Force publish a timetable of when the Tactical Training Areas may be in use, however experience shows this to be of little use in determining whether low level flying will take place on a particular day or time.

Will I Definitely See Some Low Flying Aircraft
The reality is your best option would be pick a suitable date and just go and  hope for the best, sit on the hillside enjoy the amazing views & general chit chat with like minded people you will find up there it really is pot luck.We have guest arriving each week to take their chance at seeing these jets in action, they literally come from all over the world including Japan & USA & Australia. Many do go away with great memories & photos of their time spent on the hillsides of the Mach loop. However may go away totally dismayed at not seeing any action at all, regardless of the time of year or weather conditions.

Many of our guest stay with us who come to view and photograph theses various aircraft in action, Corris Corner, Cad West & Cad East Are All Popular Locations To Watch & Photograph The Aircraft, All Of Which Are Only 5 min Drive From Here However be warned some of the climbs to the viewing points up the steep sided valley are not for the faint hearted and one in nicknamed cardiac hill……..!!

 

The whole of Wales is contained within LFA7 and also includes the Tactical Training Area (TTA) LFA7T and the helicopter training area around Snowdon. Whilst the TTA is the least used TTA in the UK, LFA7 and certain locations in Wales are probably the most popular with many low flying aircraft movements and quite often many aviation photographers trying to photograph them. Most aircraft seen are Hawks from RAF Valley but just about any other aircraft can also be seen depending on your luck. You are more likely to catch a Hercules or one of the Boscombe Down aircraft in Wales than in any of the other popular locations elsewhere in the UK.

Mach Loop Viewing Locations All of Which Are Less That 5 min Drive Away

machloopmap-smallCorris 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


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


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


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