Day 5 of 5 from a steaming hot Rainbow/Star Wars Canyon in the Summer of 2019.
As well as F-18s we were lucky enough to get WA and OT tail coded F-15Cs from Nellis as well as a load of F-35C Lightnings on this day. A stunning end to an already awesome trip to the U.S.A.
Known locally as Rainbow Canyon, this staggeringly beautiful location lies in the northeastern reaches of the Mojave Desert at the western side of the Death Valley National park in Inyo County, California. The canyon is 5.5 miles long and sits at the end of the Jedi Transition, a route between point C and point J of the Sidewinder low level training route. Fighters and other military aircraft use this route to enhance their low level flying skills as they thread their multimillion dollar jets through this tight valley. The Jedi transition allows pilots to miss out a section of the Sidewinder from Owens Lake, just south of Lone Pine (Point C), and drop into Panamint Valley at Point J. The area is teaming with military aircraft activity including air-to-air practice, mid-air refuelling and other training taking place throughout the day and night.
A rare sight down low in the Mach Loop. This Bristows search and rescue (SAR) Sikorsky S-92 was repositioning to the west and decided to make a pass through Cad before banking around the back of Cadir Idris. A nice surprise to see down low.
Always a pleasure to see RAF Lakenheath’s 48th Fighter Wing low level in Wales with their F-15s. These C models, callsign GATOR 11-14, were from the famed 493rd FS ‘The Grim Reapers’. Interesting to note the Sniper Pod on the lead jet.