GLV V Low Level Photography

In this article you will find all useful info's for a visit to the low level area GLV V in  The Netherlands.

GLV stands for Gebied Laag Vliegen (Area Low Flying). In The Netherlands there are eight low level flying areas for helicopters designated GLV I to VIII. All areas are used, but the GLV V  is the most frequently used. On almost daily bases you can see here one or more helicopters on excersise.

How to get there?
GLV V is just north of Eindhoven Air Base in The Netherlands. The best way to get there is by car or bike. Just drive to the Eindhovensedijk in Oirschot, and you will find two public parkings along this road. The most suitable parking is the most northern as this is closed to the action arena. Park your car here, take your Camera, food and drinks and start walking. From the parking, you cross the busy Eindhovensedijk and walk on a wide tanktrack onto the moorland. The moorland is accessible for the public between sunrise and sunset and a sign is posted what you can and cannot do. Most important for us as photographers is to watch out for military traffic that uses this area for training and to not disturb any military excersises.  Once on the moorland look for a rectangular area with trees. This is almost in the middle of the GLV and you are on a bit higher ground for a good lookout. Here at coordinates N 51.478113, E 5.346174 the waiting game begins. 
Wenn to go?
GLV V is used almost on daily bases, except weekends and national holidays. From Monday to Friday the area is used, but, like any other low flying areas, you might get a blank. A day wenn there is no traffic at all.. 
What is there to see?
Inputs come mostly from Gilze Rijen AB. The Chinooks, Apaches and Cougars are the most common visitors. Although the Allouette can be seen also. Foreighn visitors are very rare! 
What equipment do I need?
Photocamera & Lenses.
You need between 70 and 500mm on a Full Frame camera.  Helicopters can come very close to the camera or stay a bit further away, depending on the excersise they are conducting.  It's not advisable to walk or even run to the Helicopters for a closer picture as you might disturb them in their training routine. 
Use of airband scanners is allowed in The Netherlands and it will kill the waiting time a bit. There is no air traffic control at GLV V, this area is controlled by Eindhoven Tower.  Following frequencies can be of good use: 
Eindhoven Tower: 131.000MHZ
Eindhoven Tower: 281.150MHZ
Gilze Rijen Tower: 125.350MHZ (V12)
Gilze Rijen Tower: 369.500MHZ (U12)
Gilze Rijen Arrival: 373.375MHZ (U09)
Yes, a new phenomena in aircraft spotting is using your smartphone as a tool to track aircraft. There are several apps that can help you with that. Flightradar24, Planeplotter to name a few.  On you can see which helicopters are airborne so you know there is activity at Gilze Rijen. Also the Facebook Group "GLV V - Oirschotse Heide" has a daily sticky topic about GLV V movements. 
F/A-18G "Growler" photo taken from point 4.  This kind of exit is not very common.
Beware off: 
The sand. The sand on the moorland is soft and can easily come into your shoes. Best is to wear high hiking boots. Also beware of sandstorms during brownout landings. Protect your eyes and camera equipment during a brownout landing. Also beware of military vehicles who can sometimes very fast on the same track as you are.