Lakenheath & Mildenhall 14/03/2016

Lakenheath & Mildenhall 14/03/2016

Monday’s forecast was decent and I’m acutely aware that RAF Lakenheath is not going to be home to F-15C/Ds for ever.  In March, it had been said that the resident 48th Fighter Wing would fly up to 300% of their usual number of daily missions.  Add into the mix a friend being over from the States and another not long out of hospital and itching for a day out, and it was the obvious place to head.

The overcast conditions were supposed to clear at some point between 1000 and 1100, but by the time we arrived at 0945, the sky was broken and Eagles were both departing and already recovering!

To begin with, the skies were alive with Eagles appearing into the circuit from every direction imaginable, interspersed with the odd wave of departures.

The F-15C models were – generally – all staying noticeably lower and putting in more spirited departures than their Strike Eagle counterparts.

And then it all went a bit quiet…  Or at least it all went a bit quiet until 1330 or thereabouts.  After watching a few of the next wave of departures, it became obvious that the sun had now moved around too far, and it was time to relocate to RAF Mildenhall, via a burrito stop at the excellent Angels Café.

After that it was on to John’s Field, where a 67th SOS MC-130J (12-5759) Commando II was bashing the circuit.

The highlight came not too long afterwards when a 552nd ACW E-3G Sentry (80-0138) arrived as SHUCK82.  It was the first time I’d photographed a USAF E-3 in an absolute age, and the conditions for this one’s arrival were rather lovely.

The final action came courtesy of one of the based 7th SOS CV-22B Ospreys (08-0050) which flew a few circuits before heading off to STANTA prior to one of the most vibrant sunsets I’ve seen in a long time.

Such a shame that no-one was committing aviation in front of it! 

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