Military helicopter flies low over Jersey

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ISLANDERS took to social media at the weekend to speculate over why a military helicopter had flown low over Jersey.

A French Naval NH90 helicopter in Jersey in 2017 (27894138)

Some said that the aircraft – which was spotted on Saturday morning (4 April) – could have been a Royal Navy Merlin, one of three assigned to transport essential medical supplies and personnel around Britain during the Covid-19 crisis.

However, according to Jersey air traffic controllers, the helicopter was, in fact, a French Navy NH90, overflying the Island from the south west to the north east.

A Ports of Jersey spokesman said the flight was conducted 'in accordance with existing procedures.'

The flight took place on the same day as a large-scale French naval exercise – involving the French Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and several fighter jets – off the coast of Cherbourg.

Meanwhile, on Monday (6 April) evening, Islanders once again gazed up at the sky when a UK Coastguard helicopter visited Jersey.

It did not land and, according to a Ports of Jersey spokesman, was performing a 'recce' flight, in the event it was required by authorities in the future.

UK Coastguard helicopters have previously landed on Victoria Avenue to take seriously ill patients to Southampton when the Airport has been closed due to thick fog. They are also occasionally used in search-and-rescue operations.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor

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