Two RAF pilots appear to narrowly miss each other in a picture capturing them as they practise dog fighting 18,000ft in the air.
Anthony Helcoop took the photos showing the Typhoons getting close during a mission over West Pinchbeck, Lincs.
The photographer says he regularly sees planes from RAF Coningsby practising skilful fighting manoeuvres but this one appeared “quite close for comfort”.
However, MoD sources said the picture was probably an optical illusion caused by the angle of the camera.
“If this is genuine, I suspect this may be just the angle we are looking at it,” the source said.
“The reason for this is that when we practice dogfighting – which we do on a regular basis – a strict 1,000ft bubble is enforced and thus, whilst this looks close I believe they will have been at differing heights.”
They added: “Likewise, they would have been fighting against each other so ‘a near miss’ would not be how anyone would describe such activity, as they would be looking at each other and know where the other aircraft was and what they were doing.”