Not one – but THREE – chinook helicopters were seen flying through the Greater Manchester sky today.
The military plane was caught by people out enjoying the sunny weather in parts of Salford and Trafford this afternoon (Thursday 16 September).
The characteristic twin-rotor helicopters are used for heavy lifting and transport of the British armed forces.
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They are most easily recognized by the distinctive sound they make while in the air.
Rarely seeing so many at once, the sight made many people go to social media to ask why the helicopters were out.
Matt Woodhams posted a picture of the planes on Twitter.
He wrote: “When not just one, but THREE chinook buzzes across the office when I left earlier this afternoon. #Bitnoisy #flymeaway.
“Guess they had just come out of Barton from the direction of travel.”
John Randles wrote: “You’re waiting a long time for someone to come …” as he put together a photograph of the three helicopters.
Claire Holding caught the noisy planes as they flew over her house in Eccles this afternoon around noon. 14.30.
The Manchester Evening News contacted the RAF, who informed us that the helicopters were out for a training exercise called Chameleon 2-21, which runs from 1 to 17 September.
On the website of the Ministry of Defense, various places in the country have been highlighted as ‘low-flying areas’.
A spokesman for the RAF said: “We can confirm that the RAF’s rotating assets are conducting routine operational training over large areas of the UK for extended periods.
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“Our routine training is broad in location and nature and rarely specific to any region, nor are our exercises specific to any region or location.”
Chinook helicopters have been used by British armed forces since the 1980s and were first used in combat during the Falklands War.
They are usually based at the RAF Odiham in Hampshire and have recently been used to support troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.