The Mach Loop


The ‘Mach Loop’ or ‘Machynlleth Loop’ is a series of valleys utilised by military aircraft to practice essential

Low Flying skills.

The ‘Loop’, as it is also commonly referred to, is part of

Low Flying Area 7 (LFA 7) which covers most of Wales.

LFA is part of the UK Military Low Flying System and operates during weekdays and mostly daylight hours.

The Mach Loop runs in an anti-clockwise direction from just south of the town of Dolgellau towards Corris-Machynlleth-Dinas Mawddwy and over the Bwlch Oerddrws back towards Dolgellau. Its anti-clockwise direction is a safety measure to allow aircraft to transit the narrow valleys without conflict with on coming aircraft.

The area is used by the RAF and USAF and aircraft types such as the Hawk Jet Trainer, Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon and American F-15E ‘Strike Eagle’ can regularly be seen flying through the valleys. The large C-130 Hercules is also a common sight, majestically winding its way through the valleys. Occasionally helicopters such as the Chinook and Apache may visit the area also.


These sensational pictures have been provided by a very good friend and exceptional photographer Mr Pat Reilly who has done so much to popularise low flying aircraft photography in the Dyfi Valley.   Many thanks Pat.

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