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Low Fly Area 17

   The country is split up into 20 Low Fly Areas although this is mainly for administration purposes. Over the available parts of the low fly areas no restrictions apply in the choice of routings except for certain mountain valleys which are flowed one way and narrow gaps between obstructions are also made directional.



The air force is very well aware of the bad press it gets from low flying so as well as spreading the low fly traffic over as much of the country as possible a minimum height limit of normally 250 ft above ground level is in place. Also each aircraft type has a speed limit in force and that tends to be around 500 Knots. The use of Afterburner is discouraged rather than banned. Called Low in the Lakes this site in the main shows military activity operating within the Lake District national park  and Cumbria, all of which comes under the area known as LFA17.



M6 Gap or Lune Gorge south of Tebay

(Picture courtesy of the Northumberland Hand Gliding Club)

Dunmail Raise and Thirlmere north of Grasmere

(Picture courtesy of the Northumberland Hand Gliding Club)

Phot copyright of the RAF

GR4's from Marham about to enter low level into the Lake District at New Biggin Morcambe Bay


            LFA17 includes Cumbria, east North Yorkshire, and north Lancashire. Army Field Training Centres at Catterick and Warcop, along with QinetiQ range facilities at Eskmeals in the west of the Lake District are situated within it. It has approximately 11,295 km2(4,347 sq miles) of airspace available for low flying training, some 6.4% of the total usable overland area of the UKLFS. The terrain in LFA17 is valuable in terms of flying training practise, particularly for fast jet aircrew as the area is relatively free from large urban areas. RAF Spadeadam's Electronics Warfare Tactics Range is located in the adjoining LFA13.


A 100Sqn Hawk over the town of Barrow-inFurness in the dock HMS Bulwalk in its final stages of fitting out