Why were military helicopters flying above Sheffield yesterday?

Apache over Sheffield - Credit: Trevor French
Apache over Sheffield - Credit: Trevor French
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It was a day perfect for gazing up at the sky yesterday and those that did may have spotted a bit of a surprise.

Many sky gazers spotted an Apache helicopter hovering over Sheffield yesterday while others were seen over parts of Bury, Salford, Bolton and Wigan.

Apache over Sheffield - Credit: Trevor French

Apache over Sheffield - Credit: Trevor French

Sheffield photographer Trevor French snapped a picture of this Apache helicopter fling over the Howden Reservoir while others said they had heard Chinooks over the city.

Residents in Lowedges also said they heard helicopters flying overhead yesterday evening with others reporting that this was due to a Chinook hovering above.

Mr French said he was incredibly 'lucky' to snap the photos of the Apache helicopter as he was just 'in the right place at the right time'.

But, why were they above Sheffield?

The helicopters were also seen flying low over City Airport in Barton and a spokesperson for the airport told the Manchester Evening News that they have been busy with military training teams.

They said that they were refuelling aircraft belonging to the RAF, Royal Navy and the Army, including the Chinooks, Apache helicopters and the Navy Wildcat.

A spokesman for the RAF confirmed to the MEN that the two choppers were out for a ‘routine training exercise’.

He said the aircraft were based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, the home of the UK Chinook Force.

This is not the first time military helicopters have been spotted flying above Sheffield.

In September, people across Sheffield reported numerous sightings of large, military helicopters flying above the city.

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine helicopter which has been in service since 1962 and is operated by armed forces around the world.

The RAF uses the Chinook for trooping, resupply, and battlefield Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), and for carrying internal and/or underslung loads.

They can carry up to 55 troops (more, usually 24 to 40) and/or up to 10 tonnes of freight. A secondary role includes Search and Rescue.