A Chinook has been stuck in the mud in west Oxfordshire since Tuesday after it was forced to make an emergency landing there.
The aircraft sank into the field in Wantage – less than 15 miles from the Wiltshire border near Swindon following a precautionary landing made due to a mechanical issue.
An RAF spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, the aircraft soon sank into the field, likely due to the extended period of wet weather that we’ve been experiencing recently.
“Our engineers deployed to the site to assess the mechanical issue and this has now been fixed; however, the extremely soft ground has made the recovery of the Chinook to RAF Benson very difficult. A tri-Service team of specialists is working hard to safely extract the aircraft from the mud.
“While it was hoped that it could simply be dug out and then flown home, the risk of damage to the aircraft from this course of action has been assessed as significant and alternative options are being explored, including potentially lifting it from the mud with a crane.
“We hope to have the aircraft home by the end of the week. We are extremely thankful to the landowners for their understanding and support during this work, particularly the kindness they’ve shown to our team guarding the aircraft during some very cold nights.”
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