RAF Kinloss

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RAF Kinloss viewing map

Situated about 9 miles to the west of RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Kinloss (ICAO code EGQK) is home to Nos 42(Reserve) Sqn, 120 Sqn and 201 Sqn flying the Nimrod MR2 Aircraft. It is the second most northerly active RAF airfield in Scotland and is sandwiched between the Findhorn Bay Nature Reserve and the Moray Firth.  Dalcross (Inverness) Airport is only 19 miles to the west and Aberdeen approx 70 miles east.

Lying on the B9089 we approach Kinloss from the Forres Direction.  As we enter Kinloss village, take a left at the traffic lights along the B9011 for about a mile and you pass under the 08 threshold (1).  Note the traffic lights here stopping the traffic however pedestrians can walk on if they have started to cross.  500m past the 08 threshold there is an entrance to the bird hide on your left (2).  Take that turning and double back towards Kinloss village where you pass through a gateway with a height restriction – note that this has occasionally been locked at night to prevent camping.  Follow the track along as far as it goes and you will find a parking area.  Here is where you leave the car and take the last 200m on foot.  Take care on the cycleway as it can get very busy.  Walk along towards the Station Commanders house (3) and you will see signs for the viewing platform.  Erected by the Community Council in association with RAF Kinloss, this platform provides shelter from the elements but unfortunately faces south so photography from this point is only possible on the grey days.

Walking past the viewing platform we pass below the 08 threshold.  Please be aware that you should not stand here to take photographs for any length of time or you will get a visit from the RAF Police.  In fact anywhere between the traffic lights is likely to get the RAF Police out although if you keep to the low chain link fence to the south you should be ok.  Best photographs are from further back anyway (4)  if you wish to avoid the dreaded lights in your shots.  Although the traffic lights conveniently stop the traffic, once an aircraft has passed the threshold they will change back so be aware of this if you intend crossing the road.  Now would also be a timely reminder about the cycleway – it is very busy so place your camera bags on the verge and keep a look-out.

Heading back towards Kinloss you take a left at the traffic lights by the Spar.  This takes you past the main gate where there is a sad lacking of a gate guard.  Just outside the village boundary there is a right hand bend and a lay-by is situated a couple of hundred metres on the right.  Park there and continue to walk in an easterly direction until you come to a track by the boundary fence (5).  Along this track are few opportunities for close photography due to a combination of high chain link fence and woodlands/scrub.  You may get some shots of the aircraft just before touchdown but the farmer has been known to query photographers in this area.  He is ok as long as a 'heavy handed' stance is avoided.  It is better to drive on past the golf course and park up on any verge on the left (the old mushroom farm is a prime location).  From here you can shoot the aircraft on long finals or some of the more nimble visitors will be turning short finals at this point.

And that’s about it for Kinloss.  You can approach from the beach but the sun is in the wrong position and the threshold is a fair bit beyond the low wooden fence.


Scanner Frequencies

118.350 – PAR
118.950 – Approach
119.350 – Departures
235.025 – Tower
240.475 – PAR
278.975 – ‘Seagull’ Wing Ops
279.150 – PAR
282.200 – NATO SAR
389.400 – Ground
389.700 – Patrol
394.350 – ‘Seagull’ Wing Ops



Nimrod - Octopus - Pelican - Kin (Kinloss) - Rescue - Vulcan (51 Sqn)


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RAF Kinloss History

© On Target Aviation 2008