In recent months RAF Marham and RAF Lakenheath in East Anglia have become home to increasing numbers of Lockheed Martin F-35 (Lightning II) multirole combat aircraft. In routine airspace-use discussions with the military, the BGA has learnt and agreed to pass on that as part of their training, F-35 pilots practice landing after a failure of the aircraft’s single engine – a so-called Precautionary Flame-Out (PFO). This exercise typically involves climbing rapidly to around 10,000 ft in the overhead, then cutting the engine and flying a tight circuit with an extremely high rate of descent. F-35 PFOs could be initiated above a layer of scattered cumulus on a good soaring day, with the aircraft then plunging earthward through the gaps between the clouds. If you’re flying overhead either airbase, even if well above the MATZ, the controllers therefore ask that you call Marham Zone (124.150) or Lakenheath Approach (128.900), as appropriate, so that they can keep the F-35s away from you.
Thanks in advance for helping to ensure safe shared airspace.