Chopper arrives as a Cropper: the Chinook helicopter gets stuck in a muddy field after a mechanical failure forced it to land 20 miles from its base at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire
- The 40-year-old RAF Chinook was one of the first to join the RAF's fleet in 1981 and flew in the first Gulf War
- The plane developed a technical problem when it returned to RAF Benson on Tuesday and was forced to land
- The 11-ton helicopter began to sink in the mud after being forced to make an emergency landing
An RAF Chinook helicopter that had to land as a precaution was grounded in a field for days after it got stuck in the mud.
The 99-foot, double-rotor military helicopter had to land near Wantage, Oxfordshire on Tuesday due to a mechanical problem.
And since then, it's been stranded 20 miles from its base at RAF Benson.
The £ 60 million worth of the 11-ton helicopter's wheels quickly sank into the damp ground due to the recent rainfall.
RAF Chinook pictured sustained minor damage after making an emergency landing in a field near Wantage, Oxfordshire, Tuesday night
The massive helicopter sank into the field, meaning it must be lifted from its current position before it can take off and return to its base at RAF Benson
The 40-year-old Boeing Chinook HC4 has been in service with the RAF since before the Falklands War
RAF engineers solved the technical problem even though the plane that was used during the first Gulf War is still stuck
Royal Air Force engineers were called in to quickly fix the mechanical problem, but the military workhorse continued to sink into the mud.
It was hoped that a tri-service team of specialists could restore it by the end of the week but have not yet been able to salvage it.
A spokesman for RAF Benson said in a statement on its Facebook page: “While it was hoped that it could simply be dug up and then flown home, the risk of damage to the aircraft from doing so has been explored as a significant and alternative option including possible lifting with a crane out of the mud. & # 39;
They thanked the field owners for the "kindness they showed our team that guarded the plane on some very cold nights".
The Chinook comes from the 28th Squadron of RAF Benson, where the former 22nd Squadron was reformed by Prince William in May last year.
He worked in the Operational Testing and Assessment Department from 2010 to 2013.
After the team resigned as a search and rescue squadron in 2015, it was converted into an operational evaluation unit for the Joint Helicopter Command.
It now offers operational tests and assessments for all Joint Helicopter Command aircraft types – including the Chinook
The RAF has the largest fleet of the iconic helicopters outside the Americas and is expected to remain in service through the 2040s.
The company had 60 Chinooks in active inventory in 2015 and three years later requested the purchase of 16 more Chinooks from the United States.
Nobody was injured during the precautionary landing, when the 11-ton helicopter was stuck in the mud
Engineers are currently developing a plan to rescue the helicopter from the muddy field without damaging it
RAF Chinook heavy lift helicopter
The RAF Chinook is a versatile heavy lift helicopter that can be deployed from ships or land bases around the world.
Since it was commissioned by the RAF in 1981, the Chinook has been in use during a UN peacekeeping mission in the Falklands War, in the two Gulf Wars in Afghanistan and in Bosnia.
According to the RAF, the Chinook is an extremely powerful and extremely versatile support helicopter.
It is mainly used for the "evacuation of troops, supplies and battlefield victims" (casevac).
RAF Chinooks were used to drop giant sandbags at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire in August 2019, demonstrating its remarkable versatility
The helicopter can send 55 soldiers to a war zone or carry ten tons of cargo.
In addition to military work, the Chinook was used to secure Todbrook Reservoir after a dam collapsed in August 2019.
The aircraft is powered by two Honeywell T55-L-714A turboshaft engines, each with 4,168 horsepower.
It has a maximum cruising speed of 160kts and a maximum altitude of 15,000ft.
It can be armed with two M134 miniguns and one 7.62mm M60 machine gun.
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