Londoners sunning themselves in Victoria Park in the east of the city were left stunned when a giant Chinook helicopter landed amongst them on Friday afternoon.
One surprised man a captured a video of the helicopter as it departed the east of the park, as others took the opportunity to take photos.
A spokesperson for the RAF told the Huffington Post UK that the pilot was new to the squadron and was being put through routine training exercises, "one of which was landing at a helicopter landing site in Victoria Park".
The Chinook is a support helicopter that can be operated in many diverse environments ranging from cold weather ‘arctic’ conditions to desert warfare operations, and has seen extensive service in Afghanistan.
Victoria Park is close to the Olympic site, however the RAF said the landing was not connected to security preparations for this summer's Games.
An extensive security operation will be put in place with Typhoon jets and HMS Ocean, the largest ship in the Royal Navy's fleet, set to be deployed to protect the city along with up to 13,500 military personnel.
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The government has stressed that operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere would not be affected by the security plan costing hundreds of millions of pounds.
Typhoon jets will be stationed temporarily at RAF Northolt, and Puma and Lynx helicopters will operate from HMS Ocean.
Photo and video courtesy Michael Head.Suggest a correction