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The Bellinghman
Date: 2008-07-16 12:42
Subject: Now that was close
Security: Public
Music:All About Soul - Billy Joel (River of Dreams)
Today's Chinook, I swear, only just cleared the Tesco store the other side of our back fence. I could hear it coming even through my earplugs, and with Billy Joel getting all emo.

So that was about 75 metres away, and hedgehopping altitude. Big bugger.

The sky here can get quite crowded, what with helicopters often passing by at low level, planes using the mid distance and mid levels to practice aerobatics for airshows, and then higher up, the landing approaches for Stansted and/or Luton (depending on conditions - we're about half way between them).

(Our location - we're the square building in the centre, Tesco is the adjacent lot with the huge carpark.)

ETA Boeing CH-47 Chinook. A large helicopter. As in, 30 metres long, twin rotor, can carry over 12 tonnes load. There may be a larger helicopter out there, but I'm not aware of it. Knowing it to be 30 metres in length indicates it was probably at about that altitude.
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kit
User: mizkit
Date: 2008-07-16 08:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Being from Alaska, "chinook" means "warm south wind" to me, and this entry was very confusing for a few seconds there. :)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-07-16 08:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sorry!

(Boeing AH47 Chinook)
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kit
User: mizkit
Date: 2008-07-16 08:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
...gotta say, that looks nothin' like a warm southerly wind... :)
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Colette
User: bellinghwoman
Date: 2008-07-16 08:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Doesn't sound much like one either :-)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-07-16 08:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
True. When a 30 metre long chopper is passing by little more than twice its own length away, the type of wind you start thinking of is more 'tornado' or 'hurricane' or 'whirlwind'.
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Ross
User: crazyscot
Date: 2008-07-16 08:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Surprising that a mil chopper would fly that low over a populated area. (I thought they were instructed to avoid centres of population of over 10k inhabitants.)
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/AirSafetyandAviation/LowFlying/HowDoIComplainAboutMilitaryLowFlyingActivity.htm
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-07-16 08:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's following the A505, offset slightly (they don't follow the centre of the road, because if they did, they would occasionally have to take avoiding action). We're really, really right on the edge of the town (and county, come to it) here.

There's probably only half a dozen buildings or so that that flightpath actually goes over. A mile further south, over the town centre, that'd be another matter.
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Ross
User: crazyscot
Date: 2008-07-16 08:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ah. I hadn't realised you were on the edge of town. In that case, my sympathies...
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-07-16 09:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, as long as it's not all the time, it's not something I mind.

In Victorian times, where I currently am was part of South Cambridgeshire. The railway ran to the north of the town, which was bisected by the county boundary. At the end of the 19th Century, the county border was moved north of the railway, so that the whole town was part of the same county.

Of course, the town spread. Sometime in the '60s or '70s, I think, the A505 bypass went well north of the new edge of town, and the county boundary was rationalised to run along there too, since the town had sprawled in that direction. Of course, the sprawl spread further, and Tesco built a store just on the junction of the A505 and A14 (as it was then). We're on a business/industrial park behind, backfilling behind Tesco (which is still the only premises actually reaching the bypass).
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User: redcountess
Date: 2008-07-16 11:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
One flew over fairly low when I went to St Thomas Hospital near Westminster Bridge a few weeks ago, low enough that my housemate got a good photo of it on her cameraphone :)
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aardvark179
User: aardvark179
Date: 2008-07-16 08:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You and techiebabe should compare times and see if it was the same one.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-07-16 08:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Today: 12:35, at 52:0:0 N, 0:0:0 W, heading WSW.

Edited at 2008-07-16 12:38 pm (UTC)
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kendall
User: fubar
Date: 2008-07-16 10:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The Super Stallion beats it, but only just. There are yet bigger, but I'm not sure how many are still used today.

Up close, the Chinook is pretty neat. Seeing the rotor blades intermingle when starting up is, frankly, horrifying as you expect them to make contact and fly apart. Very much uncomfortable to ride in, though, even if the view is of some very pretty glaciers in Iceland.
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Jonathan Lewis-Jones
User: j_lj
Date: 2008-07-16 11:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There has been some joint RAF and Army exercises taking place at Waterbeach Barracks today. We have had two Chinooks, a pair of very low flying Typhoon's and a C130 fly over the Married Quarters. It was like living back in Duxford again! Except this time there were no Spitfires performing victory rolls over the spire of St John's Church.
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Just a random swede
User: vatine
Date: 2008-07-16 11:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The Mil Mi-26 i ssome 33% longer and definitely "out there" (though I suspect neither you nor me are likely to see one flitting around).
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Martin Wisse
User: martin_wisse
Date: 2008-07-17 15:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Back when I lived in a student flat on the edge of Amsterdam, I got three of those buggers flying inbetween the tower my flat was in and the opposite flat. Fortunately they didn't quite fly in between the flats, but a twenty metres or so above them, but it was still impressive...

There may be a larger helicopter out there, but I'm not aware of it.

The Mil Mi 26. Russians are just like Americans and want the biggest of everything.
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