Skip to content

A Chinook helicopter

I’ve commented before on how much helicopter traffic there is in the sky above Acorn Abbey. Usually these helicopters are Huey-size military-looking helicopters, dark gray. Yesterday while Ken and I were working in the yard, there were three Chinook helicopters. We were not able to get a photograph.

This morning, though, I heard a helicopter approaching and ran out with my camera. I caught this Chinook helicopter seconds before it vanished behind the trees.

These helicopters always fly at very low altitude, usually east to west.

That military helicopters frequently fly over North Carolina is not surprising — there are three Air Force bases in eastern North Carolina. But what puzzles me is why we see them so frequently at low altitude over the abbey.

My best speculation is that the helicopters are on training flights, on visual flight rules. We usually see them in good weather. The sky is overcast this morning, but the ceiling is high. When pilots are casually cruising on visual flights rules with no particular place to go, they like to fly toward what is visually interesting. So my guess is that they’re attracted to the unusual mountains in Stokes County — Pilot Mountain, Hanging Rock, and Sauratown Mountain. Also, from looking at a map, it seems to me that if a helicopter from, say, Pope Air Force Base wanted to fly toward the nearest mountains, it would head northwest toward Stokes County.

I found a news report from 2009 about Chinook helicopters landing in a rural field near Raleigh. The military bases said they knew nothing about it.

One Comment

  1. Quetal wrote:

    Probably checking your garden for MaryJuana…

    Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *