and Roll by
don't have to be an aviator to know that low flying in mountain
valleys is fun.
Anyone who has ever seen high-performance jets rolling and pulling
passes will have correctly guessed that it is challenging, and
exciting adrenaline-pumping stuff.
Artist Michael Rondot served as a fast-jet pilot in the RAF
for 25 years and remembers
his introduction to low flying in North Wales.
first encounter with the A5 pass at Ogwen came in 1969 when
I was a student pilot
flying the Folland Gnat trainer from RAF Valley.My instructor,
a chap called Norrie Bell,
took control of the aircraft towards the end of a training
sortie and said "Shut up and watch,
I want to show you something."We descended through a break
in the cloud cover to low level, very low level, closer to
the ground than I had ever been except when landing and accelerated
to 420 knots. This was my first experience of low flying in
the Gnat and I sat mesmerised in the front cockpit with eyes
like saucers as the ground rushed past. Trees, water, stone
walls and roads flashed by as we continued to accelerate to
480 knots at very low level. Suddenly we were in a deep U-shaped
valley with a cloud-covered rock wall at the far end and,
as far as I could see, no means of escape except by climbing,
and climbing very, very soon, like NOW ! Next thing, I saw
the ground rotate and we were in a hard 5G turn pulling DOWN
into the valley floor with about 135 degrees of right bank
and descending below the level of the road which I could see
above my head. We raced out of the valley, still in the weeds
until reaching Bethesda village when with a long sigh he handed
over control to me and announced: "That, young Michael, was
the A5 pass".
never forgot that experience and during the next 23 years
I took every opportunity to revisit the A5 pass in whatever
aircraft I happened to be flying. In 1977 I flew it in a Canberra
PR9 on a windy day in poor weather but would not care to repeat
that frightening experience. I flew it many times in Hawk
and Jaguar aircraft. For me it has a mystique unlike any other
place in the UK low flying system. The best students at RAF
Valley got the chance to fly the A5 pass in "fighting wing"
formation just like these two in my painting, but I dare say
the instructors in the back seats are doing the flying"
AND ROLL represents superb value at just £75. Each copy is
signed and numbered and issued with a certificate of authentication
to guarantee the edition size of this outstanding print. For
something really special, order a 'remarque' copy with a unique
original pencil drawing by Michael Rondot added to the border
of your print outside the image. Remarqued copies are especially
prized by collectors and can be ordered with a drawing to
your personal requirements. Order from us direct now to grab
your copy of what shall surely be 'another' classic limited
edition from Michael.
and Roll by
size: 27 x 20ins approx
- see below