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MOD explains why helicopters spent three hours flying over Suffolk village

PUBLISHED: 16:40 25 September 2020

Apache helicopters were spotted over Rendlesham for several hours. Stock image Picture: SU ANDERSON

Apache helicopters were spotted over Rendlesham for several hours. Stock image Picture: SU ANDERSON

The MOD has explained why helicopters were spotted flying over a Suffolk village last week for hours, much to the chagrin of local residents.

Helicopters were spotted in the area of Rendlesham for around three hours one day last week.

The noise from the helicopters flying around in the area caused frustration to some residents, who say it has happened previously.

“I have been through to the low flying aircraft unit for stuff that used to go on at night,” said one local resident.

The resident said it was particularly frustrating that there are restrictions for flying in more urban areas but not above villages like Rendlesham.

“It used to be an RAF airbase,” said the resident.

“So they think it’s a free for all. It’s not.”

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The MOD has now explained why they were above the village for so long.

An Army spokesman said, “On September 18 Apache aircraft from Wattisham Airfield were operating in the vicinity of MOD Woodbridge and Rendlesham, conducting routine staff continuation training.

“The MOD takes its responsibilities to the public extremely seriously and would prefer not to cause any disturbance to those on the ground but low flying is a skill which can only be achieved and maintained by constant practice in a realistic environment and it is essential that aircrew are fully trained in the skills they will need when deployed on operations, both overseas and here in the United Kingdom.

“Every effort is made to spread low flying training as widely and equitably as possible, and the amount of training conducted is strictly limited to that which is essential for aircrew to achieve and maintain operational effectiveness.”

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