Aircraft

Chinook Leaves Oxfordshire After Being Stuck In Mud

The RAF helicopter had been stuck in the mud for six days after it was forced to land on "extremely soft ground" last week.

A Royal Air Force Chinook has set off back to its home base after a week stranded in a field.

The helicopter from 28 Squadron, based at RAF Benson, sank into "extremely soft ground" in a field near Wantage, in Oxfordshire, after landing due to a hydraulic fault, the base said.

A tri-service team of specialists had been working on a strategy to safely extract the aircraft from the field.

After six days stuck in the mud, the aircraft was transferred onto a temporary hard surface to allow the manoeuvre.

Two cranes were used to lift the Chinook above the waterlogged field as troops placed wooden beams and rolled-out matting underneath.

Once free from the mud, the helicopter flew back to RAF Benson after pre-flight checks and refuelling.

Before it was able to take off, the temporary metal rod that was crated into the field was also removed and the site where the forced landing took place was made good again for the landowner.

Last week, RAF Benson said they were "extremely thankful" to the landowners for their "understanding and support".

Chinooks are primarily used by the Royal Air Force for trooping, resupply and battlefield casualty evacuation.

The aircraft's heavy-lift capability means it can lift or carry a range of freight, including vehicles, 55 personnel, or up to roughly 10 tonnes of mixed cargo.