A mid–air collision with a bird forced a military aircraft to make an emergency landing in a Rowsley field.
The RAF Chinook helicopter landed on the recreation ground in Rowsley after a bird shattered its window during flight on Friday afternoon.
It was a blast from the past to see the mammoth machine for Darron Fleming, of Stanton Woodhouse, Rowsley, who used to be in the Army.
“I was in the 21st Signal Regiment stationed in Germany in the mid 80s,” the 47–year–old, who now runs his own electric cigarette business EcigSwag, said.
“I used to do grounds communications for the Chinooks.
“It was a relatively new aircraft then but I think they went on to be the workhorse for Afghanistan.”
The team working to repair the helicopter were happy for curious bystanders to look around the aircraft and even take pictures of it.
“It’s a beautiful aircraft,” Darron, a keen amateur photographer, commented.
“I got to ride in them when I was in the service, which was an absolute pleasure.
“One of my most treasured memories of being in the air force is sitting in the Chinook while the pilot was landscaping – where they hug the landscape at a low level under the radar. We were going about 300 knots – it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I remember seeing all these cattle scattering in this field below me as we flew along and this angry German farmer shaking his fists at us.”
The helicopter was grounded in Rowsley overnight while the team worked to repair it. None of the five crew members were injured as a result of the incident.
It took flight again on Saturday.