Sir - At about 17.45 on 14 July, I observed a Royal Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules C3 at around 500ft (150m) above ground level, about 5km (3nm) west of Cranfield, Bedfordshire.

As this was the day of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone (some 20km north-west of Milton Keynes), helicopter feeder sites were in use at Milton Keynes and at Cranfield. About 50 helicopters were being operated locally, in addition to many other sites and, when the Hercules flew through, the heli-shuttles were in full swing, with several aircraft constantly visible. Many were climbing or descending through the C-130's level to and from their landing sites. I witnessed the C-130 crew take avoiding action twice within my visibility.

As a private-pilot's licence holder, I ask the following questions:

Was the C-130 crew aware of the helicopter activity in the area before the aircraft departed?

If not, why not?

If the crew was aware, surely good airmanship would have dictated arranging the flight to pass around, or over, such intense helicopter activity?

Source: Flight International