Lossiemouth Royal Air Force Base Spotting Guide

Royal Air Force Lossiemouth or more commonly RAF Lossiemouth (IATA: LMO, ICAO: EGQS) is a military airfield located on the western edge of the town of Lossiemouth in Moray, north east Scotland.

Lossiemouth is one of the largest and busiest fast-jet stations in the Royal Air Force and known for its close proximity to flight training areas in Scotland and it’s favourable local flying conditions. It is now the only operational RAF station in Scotland and is one of two main operating bases for the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 in the UK. It is home to three front-line units which operate the Typhoon (No. 1 Squadron, No. 2 (AC) Squadron and No. 6 Squadron) each of which contribute to the Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North capability which provides protection to UK airspace 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Tornado GR4 Operational Conversion Unit, XV(Reserve) Squadron is also based at the station.

The airfield opened in 1939 and was operated by the RAF predominately as part of Bomber Command until 1946 when it was handed over to the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) and became known as RNAS Lossiemouth (HMS Fulmar). The FAA used Lossiemouth as a training station until it was handed back to the RAF in September 1972, after which it has operated largely as fast-jet base
As this is Scotland’s only RAF base now  please bear in mind that due to government cuts it is very quiet so if you go then I suggest the exercise called Joint Warrior it runs the middle two weeks of April and again in October  if you do go then accommodation is advised as its too far to go in one day.

Written by Peter Adams / (Based in Scotland)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Airport Information Runway  05 / 23 10 / 28
2’756m (9’042 ft) 1’851m (6’073 ft)
Spotting Information Ladder Not required as its a low fence.
Car Advisable for runway 05 end spots 2 and 3 or from spot 1 its a 4 mile walk roughly 1 hour…
Restrooms None.
Drinks/Food In Lossiemouth village its self there’s a few shops you can buy but nothing close to the spots.
Hotels In Lossiemouth or Elgin B B can be found also there’s a camp site at the 23 end Lossiemouth Beach.
Season Middle two weeks of April and again in October when the exercise is on. Otherwise, during summer.
Runway Usage 05 / 23
Used in both directions.
10 / 28
Used very rarely.

Spot #1 – The Golf Cource
WHERE From the base road B9135 turn left into the B9040 and follow it for 2 minutes. Then there’s a small road (path) on your left follow that and the spot can be seen in the gause bushes and golf course.
WHAT Runway 23 landings during morning and afternoon.
TIME Taxiing to runway from sunrise to 1000. Landing depend in which side do you want to take pictures. On the left side approx 1000 to sunset.
MISC. There’s nothing close to this spot so take what you need also if you stand under the ILS Lights up at the fence you will be moved due to the danger of jet-blast.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-300mm depending on motive.

Spot #2 – Old SAR Hangar
WHERE From the base follow the road along then turn right into Drainie Rd and take this. Follow it along until you reach some hangars and see some houses. The spot is in a field after the houses on your right hand side.
WHAT Helicopters parked up taxing departing also Typhoons landing and taxing.
TIME After 1100 am until 1530 hrs.
MISC. There’s nothing close to this spot so take what you need.
FOCAL LENGTH 24-200 depending on motive longer 300 if you want 23 departure shots.

Spot #3 – Runway 05 end
WHERE From spot 2 follow the road up to the end you can see the end of RWY 05. There is a huge field and some hills where you can stand. Find your preferred position.
WHAT Runway 05 departures line ups landing shots.
TIME From 1000 until sunset depending on what side.
MISC. There’s nothing close to this spot so take what you need  also if you have a car then there’s limited parking up this end and it ends up being busy with cars.
FOCAL LENGTH 24-200 depending on motive.

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One thought on “Lossiemouth Royal Air Force Base Spotting Guide

  1. Paul

    Incredible that an RAF base has a low fence and spotter friendly, when Heathrow etc are like fortresses……..

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