RAF Leeming hosted Exercise Yorknite between 11th November & 6th December 2019 which essentially gave the Swiss Air Force the opportunity to conduct night flying & supersonic flight training with their F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.
The reason the Swiss use the UK during the winter is due to the limitations placed on them for night flying because of their crowded airspace and being a small country, their flying training areas are very compact when compared to our D323 and D513 training areas off the north east coast of England. They are also not allowed to undertake night flying nor fly supersonically over Switzerland, because of the risk of triggering avalanches.
The gallery below, shows pre flight preparations & taxiing manoeuvres, prior to a late morning launch on 20th November 2019. Noteworthy is the fact that aircraft J-5009 was piloted by 1st Lieutenant Fanny “Shotty” Chollet who qualified on 18th March 2018 as the first female fighter jet pilot in the Swiss Air Force.
With thanks to FLAG, David Thompson & Rod Prescott.