Monday, April 21, 2008

You couldn't make it up - Prince William lands Chinook helicopter next to girlfriend's home

It's a tricky one for the Ministry of Defence, but I think they have just about explained sufficiently (below) why Prince William landed a Chinook helicopter next to his girlfriend's home at Bucklebury, Berkshire.

This escapade comes under the heading of "you couldn't make it up". The Chinook is a massive, relatively noisy flying machine (below). Bucklebury (below) is a quiet, relatively densely populated rural village (Chris Tarrant estalished a second home there, leading to his estranged wife referring to the village with an "F" instead of the "B" at the start of its name). The idea of Prince William landing such a helicopter by his girlfriend's house there just seems astonishing.

...the MoD...told newburytoday that the trip had been planned and fully authorised as an agreed part of Prince William’s attachment to the RAF.They confirmed that the aircraft landed for 20 seconds, taking all necessary precautions. No-one left or boarded the aircraft.A spokesman for the MoD, Nick Manning, said: “Battlefield helicopter crews routinely practice landing in fields and confined spaces away from their airfields as a vital part of their training for operations. These highly honed skills are used daily in conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. “Helicopter bases continually seek permission from land owners to use their fields and there are only two fields permanently available in Hampshire. Opportunities to use alternatives are therefore regularly seized. “This was very much a routine training sortie that achieved essential training objectives.”The Prince took off from RAF Odiham in Hampshire during a 100-mile, two-hour training exercise, according to the newspaper. The report claims Prince William came up with the idea himself and asked permission from Miss Middleton’s family, claiming a shortage of landing spots in Hampshire.

A Chinook helicopter


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