These are highly volatile times. Tensions across borders have risen significantly in recent times. As a result, when you see six large military helicopters bearing markings of a foreign nation, it is logical that you panic.
However, the actual reason that five Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and one tandem-rotor Boeing Co. Chinook chopper belonging to the United States army landed near the village of Gruta, 220 kilometers (140 miles) north of Warsaw, had nothing to do with a planned attack.
Six U.S. army helicopters landed in a rapeseed field in northern Poland to ask for directions. Surprisingly, they were lost, and landed with the sole intention of asking for assistance, reported Bloomberg. The helicopters were involved in routine military exercises, but somehow got separated from the rest of the battalion over the mountains.
Despite having sophisticated guidance systems and eons-old maps to take them back to their camp, the squadron managed to get lost and were completely clueless about which way to head. Thankfully, instead of flying in random patterns high up in the sky, the team leader decided to set the entire squadron down and simply ask for directions. Moreover, the weather was apparently not in their favor.
Since the village doesn’t speak much English, squadron leader tried his best to pacify the apprehensive villagers that they weren’t attacking, but were genuinely lost and needed to know where they were. Needless to say, majority of the townsfolk were quite spooked at the sight of these huge helicopters landing in a field.
US Black Hawk`s & Chinook land in Polish fields in village of Gruta do bad weather & took photos with the locals 🙂 pic.twitter.com/qbPrPK03IE
— Michael (@IVIich4eL) September 10, 2014
As the fear ebbed, villagers realized the plight of the soldiers and bought them some leaflets in English, shared Halina Kowalkowska, the village’s head, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Speaking about the encounter, Waldemar Krukowski, a local resident, told TVN24 television, “The Americans came over and asked where they landed.”
The weather conditions were deplorable, which made identification even difficult, explained a visibly shaken Waldemar.
“It was heavy, thick fog and you could barely see anything, so the boys had to land. I am still shaking after a sleepless night.”
In all, a total of 12 aircraft made an unscheduled landing on their way from Lithuania yesterday. Apparently, it is a “standard procedure” in poor visibility, according to army officials.
Though the villagers can laugh about the situation now, you can easily imagine what an international slugfest it could have been had Russian aircraft accidentally landed in Poland.
[Image Credit | AP]