After our drive into Wales the day before we headed out early to the Loop. The folks at the Red Lion were as accommodating as always and we had an early breakfast and picked up our generous packed lunches.
Day 2 Wednesday 13th July 2022 – CAD East
We decided for the first time to visit CAD East. From all the information that we had read and seen on YouTube the space for car parking was very limited. So an even earlier start was called for. On the way to CAD we passed the Bwlk car park and it was already almost full at 7.45 am!
The road up to CAD East is well documented so we made absolutely sure not to go through the nearby farm gate.
The road was definitely a single track. The grazing sheep only added to the excitement as they wandered across the road as we ascended the hills. Once the road levelled out we could see parked cars already on the verges. There was another gate with a small wood to the right as the road carried on through the hills. We turned around and joined the parked cars to begin our day on CAD East.
CAD East at 8 am
We followed the path up the first incline alongside the tree line. Ahead of us we could see other photographers making the climb – at least then we knew we were heading in the right direction.
My dislike of heights is well documented and being on CAD East meant I would be photographing the planes close to a cliff edge. I chose to set up on a small mound well away from the edge. We could see CAD West and to our right the valley that we were used to seeing.
RAF Hawk T2 ZK028 : 0840 am
Socialising while we waited for the next plane
It was a good choice to bring chairs with us. This was a definite advantage of CAD East as we had not had to do much uphill walking.
For the much braver than me there was a (narrow) ledge below the cliff top. These guys would have a clear unobstructed view though.
Facing CAD West and directly in front of us was another group of photographers.
RAF Texan T1 ZM327- 1100 am
Just we had found on the Bwlch when Texans come through someone has to see them as they approach. Their head on approach here was just as difficult to spot and with no noisy jet engine we were late to spot this Texan.
My camera was setup for fast jets and shooting at 1/2000 froze the propeller…
RAF Texan T1: 1150 am
This Texan had gone past the Bwlch and then turned away from CAD.
RAF Hawk T2 ZK021 : 1231 pm
The behind the Hawk we could see that CAD West was busy.