RAF Chinook escorted by police as £30m kit passes pub goers in leafy Cotswolds village

RAF aircraft sounds urgent 7700 'squawk'

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The £30m RAF Chinook helicopter was escorted past the village pub in Fossebridge, near Cirencester on Wednesday morning. The huge piece of military equipment was guided past the 17th Century Inn in the quiet corner of the Cotswolds after beginning its journey at nearby Brize Norton RAF base.

Drivers in the Cotswolds were warned of possible delays on Tuesday as the RAF helicopter was scheduled to return to Cirencester on May 4.

The chopper took the same route last week when it travelled to Brize Norton, which is located near the pretty hamlet.

The helicopter was escorted by police from Burford to Cirencester, leaving the A40 Burford at 9.30am before going along the A429 and A419 at Harebush.

The route includes some narrow roads, so motorists are advised of disruption.

Gloucestershire Constabulary apologised in advance for any inconvenience that is caused.

The force said: “Police are escorting another abnormal load through the Cotswolds tomorrow (Wednesday, May 4).

“The escort, which is a reverse route to the one conducted last week, will be travelling from Burford to Cirencester.

“An RAF Chinook helicopter will begin its journey on the A40 at Burford at 9.30am before going along the A429 and A419 to reach its destination of Haresbush in Cirencester.

“Due to the size of the helicopter and the escort taking narrow roads, drivers are advised to allow extra time for their journeys or find alternative routes.

“Officers apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.”

There have been a number of sightings of Chinooks in the south of England in recent months.

One Chinook helicopter stunned dog walkers in Gloucestershire last week when it landed and took off in a field near to where they were walking.

Carolyn Thomas spotted the heavy-lift helicopter in a field as she and her friends walked along the Wye Valley in Gloucestershire

Often seen in Hollywood blockbusters, Chinooks can carry up to 55 troops and/or up to 10 tonnes of freight.

They are often seen dropping off supplies in conflict zones or evacuating casualties from the battlefield.

In March, one of the choppers was spotted landing in a farmer’s field near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire.

The Ministry of Defence said then that pilots practise landing and taking off with the landowner’s permission.

They often pass over rural areas on training exercises from their bases at RAF Odiham, Hampshire and RAF Benson, Oxfordshire.

Sometimes they are seen en route for stop-offs at Gloucestershire Airport to refill fuel tanks.

The Wye Valley is a well-known training spot for military pilots.

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