NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

RAF Lossiemouth crews on standby for 'quick alert' incidents

Crews scrambling to a training shout
Image caption Crews responding to a training incident

RAF jets were scrambled against Russian military aircraft detected approaching the UK on eight days so far this year.

Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) crews at Lossiemouth in Moray and Coningsby in Lincolnshire were involved.

In some incidents, the RAF Typhoon jets "shadowed" the Russian aircraft as they passed closed to UK airspace.

Crews at Lossiemouth, the UK's most northerly RAF station, will remain on standby over the Christmas and new year periods.

The pilots and a team of engineers have to be ready to respond to an incident at a moment's notice.

Image caption The crews have to be ready to respond at a moment's notice
Image caption A Typhoon takes off from RAF Lossiemouth

Flt Lt Zane Sennett, a QRA pilot, said there was "immediately a lot of adrenaline" when there was call to scramble, getting the jets airborne as quickly as possible.

He said: "But you have very much got to focus on the job. We deal in facts and details.

"First and foremost we are here to deal with any aviation threats to the airspace of the UK, whether that is an airliner that has lost communication, or Russian aviation."

For Lossiemouth, this year's QRA incidents have included responding to two in the space of five days to monitor Russian military aircraft flying close to UK airspace.

Both incidents were outside UK airspace off north east Scotland.

Image caption Flt Lt Zane Sennett says scrambles come with a hit of adrenaline

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