Gloucestershire: Chinook lands in field near the Forest of Dean
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Carolyn Thomas spotted the heavy-lift helicopter, often seen in Hollywood blockbusters, in a field as she and friends walked along the Wye Valley in Gloucestershire. She captured this amazing video of the aircraft taking off and flying over the valley.
Ms Thomas, a yoga teacher, said: “It’s not every day a Chinook lands by Bigsweir Bridge. Just had to stop and video. It was stunningly graceful for such a huge thing.”
Chinooks can carry up to 55 troops and/or up to 10 tonnes of freight, so they are usually seen dropping off supplies in war zones or evacuating casualties from the battlefield.
They are affectionately nicknamed Wokkas after the sound its rotors make, Gloucestershire Live says.
And it was this distinctive noise Ms Thomas, from St Briavels, Gloucestershire, first noticed as she hiked alongside the river last week.
n March, the double-bladed chopper was spotted landing in a farmer’s field near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire.
The Ministry of Defence said then that pilots practise landing and taking off with the landowner’s permission.
They often pass over rural areas on training exercises from their bases at RAF Odiham, Hampshire and RAF Benson, Oxfordshire. Sometimes they are seen en route for stop-offs at Gloucestershire Airport to refill fuel tanks.
Increased sightings of the Boeing CH-47 Chinooks have led to unconfirmed speculation that there is increased activity in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the same week, NATO said it would be carrying out military exercises this summer that would be a demonstration of the West’s solidarity and strength.
But the sound of military helicopters is very familiar in the Wye Valley which is a well-known training spot for military pilots who have to negotiate the wooded gorge as it narrows towards Chepstow. Several years ago one military helicopter was even stranded after breaking down on playing fields at Monmouth.
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