An amazing photograph has captured the moment two RAF Typhoons appear to narrowly miss each other during a practice dogfight.
The picture was taken while the two pilots performed their manoeuvres at up to 18,000ft in the skies over West Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire.
However, a Ministry of Defence (MoD) source said there was “no near miss” and the photograph was an optical illusion caused by the angle of the camera.
A spokesperson for the MoD said: “RAF Fighter aircraft practice air-to-air combat on a regular basis to ensure our pilots have the relevant skills for global combat operations.
“During this type of training, a strict 1,000ft bubble in height or distance between our aircraft is enforced and was observed during this sortie.”
The picture was taken by Anthony Helcoop, a hobby photographer from Spalding, Lincolnshire, at around 5pm on Thursday.
Read more from Sky News:
Northern leg of HS2 to Manchester will be scrapped
Russell Brand being investigated by Thames Valley Police
The photographer said he regularly sees planes from RAF Coningsby practising – but that this incident appeared “quite close for comfort”.
“They did appear to get very near on this occasion,” he said.
“Obviously from the ground due to the angle you can’t tell how near it was for sure – but from my perspective, they certainly looked in close proximity.
“I shared the photos online and people just can’t believe I was so lucky to get that moment on camera.
“I’m not a professionally-trained photographer at all, I just do it as a hobby, so I was just in the right place at the right time really.”
He added: “I love watching the pilots from RAF Coningsby practice combat manoeuvres.
“They are Top Guns. [It] makes you feel secure that these pilots are protecting our skies.”
The photograph is likely to be an incident of forced perspective – a technique that uses optical illusion to make an object appear further away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is.
The technique is famously used by people to allow them to seemingly hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy or pinch the top of the Eiffel Tower in France.