RAF Chinook helicopter makes emergency landing in US
Sunday 08 April 2012
An RAF Chinook helicopter has made an emergency landing during military exercises in the United States, the Ministry of Defence said today.
The aircraft touched down in a remote, unpopulated area of the southern US at around 7.30pm BST yesterday.
None of the Chinook's crew is believed to be injured and an investigation into the emergency landing has been launched.
An MoD spokesman said: "We can confirm that an RAF Chinook helicopter made an emergency landing during military exercises in the southern US yesterday. The incident is under investigation."
It is not yet known what damage, if any, the military helicopter sustained.
The Chinook came down in the Arizona desert near Yuma after suffering a "mishap" during a landing exercise, according to AP news agency.
The agency quoted military spokeswoman Michelle Dee, who said the crew was practising how to land the aircraft 15 miles north-east of Yuma when "something went wrong."
She added that the seven people onboard the Chinook sustained minor injuries and were sent to hospital as a precautionary measure.
The aircraft was damaged in the landing but it is not known how badly, she said.
It is believed the RAF craft was operating out of the Naval Air Facility El Centro in California's Imperial Valley, which hosts allied troops throughout the year.
The mountainous area has a similar environment to those faced by troops in Afghanistan.
The RAF operates the largest fleet of Chinook Support Helicopters after the US Army, with a total of 34 HC2s, 6 HC2As and 8 HC3s.
It describes the aircraft as "a very capable and versatile support helicopter that can be operated in many diverse environments ranging from cold weather 'arctic' conditions to desert warfare operations".
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