THIS is the incredible moment two RAF ‘Top Gun’ pilots appeared to narrowly miss each other as they practised dog fighting 18,000ft in the air.
Anthony Helcoop snapped pictures showing the Typhoons getting very close during the mission over West Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire, at around 5pm on Thursday.
The photographer says he regularly sees planes from RAF Coningsby practicing skillful fighting manoeuvres – but this one appeared “quite close for comfort”.
Anthony said: “I spend a lot of time taking photos of aircraft over West Pinchbeck.
“I love watching the pilots from RAF Coningsby practice combat manoeuvres.
“We get F15’s and F35’s flying over the air space here, its where they come to practice and they are a regular sight in the skies around here.
“Just before 5pm on Thursday I snapped these two Typhoons and thought ‘wow that seemed very close’.
“They are Top Guns. Makes you feel secure that these pilots are protecting our skies.
“You see them doing all sorts of manoeuvres but this one seemed quite close for comfort. They did appear to get very near on this occasion.
“Obviously from the ground due to the angle you can’t tell how near it was for sure – but from my perspective they certainly looked in close proximity.
“The skies have been unusually quiet since this happened, so I don’t know if that is connected in any way or not.
“I understand some Typhoons have been deployed to Poland to help them out so they may have been training for that.
“I keep track on a radar and they were flying between 15,000ft and 18,000ft at the time. It’s incredible to watch them.
“I shared the photos online and people just can’t believe I was so lucky to get that moment on camera.
“I’m not a professionally-trained photographer at all, I just do it as a hobby, so I was just in the right place at the right time really.”