Stunning photos show the RAF parachuting, flying and shivering

Those magnificent men in their flying machines! Stunning photos show the Royal Air Force parachuting, flying and shivering as they train hard around the world

  • More than 900 images were submitted across four categories in the 2020 RAF Photographic Competition
  • Ground Zero, taken at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands, won Operations and Exercises category 
  • Martin Keene, who was one of its three industry professional judges, said it was ‘pure photographic brilliance’

A striking image showing ground crews battling the elements in front of a snow-covered Voyager aircraft is one of four winners in this year’s RAF photographic competition.

Sgt Andy Holmes’s photo, titled Ground Zero, was taken at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands and was selected as the winner of the Operations and Exercises category.

The sergeant, who is stationed at RAF Benson in south Oxfordshire, also won the Current RAF Equipment category with the image titled Astra which shows a Typhoon aircraft pictured in front of a starry sky in the Falklands.

More than 900 images were submitted across four categories in the 2020 Royal Air Force Photographic Competition.

The winner of the Peoples’ Choice category was Cpl Phil Dye, from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, for his photo Helping Hand, which shows personnel from 84 Squadron taking part in a medevac exercise on HMS Enterprise.

Ian Forshaw, from RAF Shawbury in Shropshire, won the Personnel category with his photo of a student pilot taking part in night training in a Juno H135 Eurocopter.

Martin Keene, who was one of the competition’s three industry professional judges, said Sgt Holmes’s image of the ground crew in the Falklands was ‘pure photographic brilliance’.

The PA news agency photographer said: ‘There are some terrific pictures this year of the RAF people and kit in action but the winning picture stands out – aviators, ground crew and kit battle against the elements a long way from home.

‘It’s a picture that would not be out of place on the big screen – and is pure photographic brilliance.’

The winner of the Peoples’ Choice category was selected by the public on Facebook.

Sgt Andy Holmes’s photo, titled Ground Zero, was taken at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands and shows people working hard in the harsh winter weather. It was selected as the winner of the Operations and Exercises category in this year’s RAF Photographic Competition. Martin Keene, who was one of the competition’s three industry professional judges, said Sgt Holmes’s image of the ground crew in the Falklands was ‘pure photographic brilliance’

The sergeant, who is stationed at RAF Benson in south Oxfordshire, also won the Current RAF Equipment category with the image titled Astra which shows a Typhoon aircraft pictured in front of a deep blue starry sky in the Falklands

A Parachute Jump Instructor films a soldier carrying out a qualifying freefall parachute jump as part of Exercise Quick Glass, against the backdrop of a stunning cloud. The picture came second in the category ‘Personnel’

A photo capturing Exercise Decisive Manoeuvre, where RAF Chinooks and Puma from Joint Helicopter Command came together to complete the largest movement of Artillery in recent history. A combination of 7 aircraft from both RAF Odiham and RAF Benson, along with Joint Helicopter Support Squadron, organised the movement of 105mm light guns in support of 16 Air Assault Brigade conducting a raid on Salisbury plain during their 3-week Gunnery confirmation exercise. The picture came second in the category ‘Current RAF Equipment’

A photo of a 12 Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon banking as the 3 ship formation flies through grey skies over Royal Air Force Coningsby. The picture came second in the category ‘RAF Operations and Exercises’

An RAF chinook performs a simulated water insertion over a lake, with choppy waters set against a stunning rainbow-lit backdrop. The picture was Highly Commended in the category ‘Current RAF Equipment’

The winner of the Peoples’ Choice category was Cpl Phil Dye, from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, for his photo Helping Hand, which shows personnel from 84 Squadron taking part in a medevac exercise on HMS Enterprise. The exercise saw a man winched on to the vessel’s deck and assisted the Royal Navy medical team in extracting a dummy casualty

This photo of a Typhoon FGR. Mk4 of 29 Squadron Operational Conversion Unit RAF Coningsby taxing after another training flight came third in the category ‘Current RAF Equipment’

SAC Brad Axe, an RAF Firefighter based at RAF Odiham, celebrates having won a hard fought battle against his opponent, a local fighter called Micky during the RAF Odiham Military Boxing evening. The picture came third in the category ‘Personnel’

Ian Forshaw, from RAF Shawbury in Shropshire, won the Personnel category with his photo of a student pilot taking part in night training in a Juno H135 Eurocopter, with a glorious sunset dominating the background, and reflecting onto the aircraft

An RAF Odiham Chinook is called in to help spread sandbags over the dam wall in Whaley Bridge, and it approaches low over the water a clear, sunny day. Around 400 tonnes of aggregate were brought in to plug the dam and divert water away from the town. The picture was Highly Commended in the category ‘RAF Operations and Exercises’

WO (Rtd) Bert Salvage during Remembrance Day 2019 at RAF Wittering Officers Mess in powerful, striking black and white. The picture was Highly Commended in the category ‘Personnel’

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