Friday, 8 January 2021

RAF Chinook makes emergency landing in a field.

An RAF Chinook helicopter made an unscheduled emergency landing in a field in the Wantage area on Tuesday after a mechanical fault developed.

The helicopter, part of the fleet from 28 Squadron at RAF Benson was on normal operations when it developed a fault. The crew decided to land in a field as a precaution, however, due to a large amount of rain in recent days and the aircraft's weight, it helicopter sank a little into the mud. 

The RAF deployed a team of engineers to the site to assess the mechanical issue, which has now been rectified.  Yet it is the soft ground that is making extractions difficult, so a tri-Service team of specialists is now working hard to safely remove the aircraft from the mud.

You might have thought the helicopter could simply be dug out from its soft muddy bed and flown home to its base, but that's not the case. The RAF said:  "The risk of damage to the aircraft from this course of action has been assessed as significant and alternative options are being explored, including potentially lifting it from the mud with a crane. We hope to have the aircraft home by the end of the week."

Officials also said they were extremely thankful to the landowners over their understanding and for the support they have offered the team guarding the aircraft during some very cold nights.

The sight and the inability of being able to dig it out does somewhat tarnish the reputation of being able to go anywhere and do anything that many in the forces ascribe to the Chinook.

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