Watch Two F-15Cs Of The 493rd FS Carry Out The ‘Grim Reapers’ Last Low Level Flight In The Mach Loop

F-15C Mach Loop
Screenshot from the video of the last 493rd FS F-15C flight through the Mach Loop.

The last 2 F-15Cs from RAF Lakenheath’s 493rd Fighter Squadron flew through the well-known Mach Loop for the last time. And they did it in design.

On Apr. 21, 2022, the last 2 F-15Cs of the 493d FS “Grim Reapers” brought out a last flight in the Mach Loop. These jets are due to leave Lakenheath next week to return back to United States. From there the mostrecent airframes will stay in service with National Guard squadrons, while the others will mostlikely end up in Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. The Squadron has currently got its veryfirst F-35A, the flagship airplane that gothere in the UK along with the 495th FS’s leader airplane, however priorto closing the F-15 chapter, the Grim Reapers made a last low level sortie through the LFA (Low Flying Area) 7, with 2 Eagles making 4 unbelievable low level passes that were captured on tape by our buddy Ben Ramsay at UK Aviation Movies.

“They constantly were THE jets to catch low level. Many times I haveactually been to the Mach Loop and haveactually captured these fantastic jets and their very proficient pilots threading their jets through the Welsh Valleys. But today was a extremely unique day,” Ben stated explaining the video he published to YouTube.

The 2 airplane, callsign REAPER 01 (#86-0172 – with 45 year in Europe unique tail) and REAPER 02 (#86-0171) made an preliminary “medium” elevation pass priorto comingdown low level for several passes.

“As you can see in the video, the pilots made a lazy turn at 2-3000ft to start their last goodbye. It brought a tear to my eyes, and I’m not scared to confess it.” After that, the 2 Eagles split into single ships and “in real Grim Reapers design” flew 4 passes each: “some of the finest passes I’ve seen in the 13 years I’ve been shooting these men low level.”

The video is excellent for numerous factors: the maneuverability inspiteof the 3 fuel tanks, the aggressive turns of REAPER 02, the sensational setting and the last climb.

According to Ben, after the Mach Loop “activity”, the 2 Eagles pulled out at Corris Corner and climbedup to 14,000 feet to return back to Lakenheath one more time through the Lichfield Corridor. Interestingly, the lead airplane was bring the Welsh flag which was provided to one of the regional low level professionalphotographers the following day.

“Thanks to the F-15 team on the day for bringing these amazing jets to Wales, and to the maintainers to get them here. You made our day. It won’t be the exactsame without you.”


David Cenciotti is a freelance reporter based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most popular and read armedforce airtravel blogsites. Since 1996, he hasactually composed for significant aroundtheworld publications, consistingof Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and lotsof others, covering airtravel, defense, war, market, intelligence, criminaloffense and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown numerous battle airplanes with various air forces. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a personal pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He hasactually composed 5 books and contributed to lotsof more ones.

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