|Introduction: Low Flying Helicopters, why?
The United Kingdom low flying system (UKLFS) has been created to allow aircrews to train and practice the skill of flying low level. The UKLFS is divided into 18 Low Flying Areas (LFA's), these allow aircrew to fly down to a minimum height above ground level (agl) of 250ft with the exception of three Tactical Flying Training Areas, LFA 7T in Wales and 14T/20T in Scotland where low flying levels of fast jets and transport aircraft are 100ft and 150ft respectively.
Five Dedicated User Areas (DUA) are also contained within the UKLFS, these areas are used for helicopter training sorties. The DUA for RAF Odiham's rotary aircraft is LFA 1(Oscar).
The primary users of LFA 1(O) are of course the RAF Chinook and Lynx from Odiham but the area is also used by many other helicopter types, the Army Air Corps training base at Middle Wallop bring their students to the area in the Apache, Gazelle, Lynx, Squirrel and Bell 412. RAF Benson also carry out training using the Puma and Mk.3 Merlin helicopter in the low flying area.
For more information about the UK Low Flying System, please visit The Official MOD Military Low Flying site.
|What is LFA 1(O) used for?
The low flying area surrounding RAF Odiham provides a suitable location for many different types of training and flying sorties including general handling (GH), practice force landing (PFL), low level navigation, sloping ground and confined area.
Occasionally underslung loads are flown from the TAC Park on the airfield out to remote field locations.
|Low Flying complaints
The following statement has been issued by RAF Odiham:
"Unfortunately night flying is always a sensitive issue, but an essential part of a pilot's training. Whilst we are fully aware of the environmental impact of aircraft operations, we endeavour to minimise nuisance to our neighbours in the local community as much as possible. However, squadron pilots must remain current on night flying techniques, and operational and training requirements will necessitate some flying through the night period."
If you do wish to make a complaint about low flying in your area then you can phone the MOD Low Flying complaints number on 0207 218 6020 or send an email to the email@example.com