Fife helicopter mystery: Chinooks and loud bangs at Inchkeith?

It is thought chinook helicopters are among those which flew low over Fife last night.
It is thought chinook helicopters are among those which flew low over Fife last night.

Mystery surrounds the noise of helicopters heard along the Fife coast last night.

The area has recently seen an increase in spotting of chinook helicopters during the day, however it now seems that there has been military activity in the Forth overnight.

Choppers appeared to be landing at Inchkeith.

Choppers appeared to be landing at Inchkeith.

Fifetoday has received reports of as many as three helicopters from as far apart as Kinghorn to St Andrews until at least 3am this morning.

Police Scotland have confirmed that their helicopter was not in attendance, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said that they had not deployed any to the Fife area.

Kinghorn resident Scott McIlravie, was kept awake by the noise.

“I heard a series of loud bangs at around midnight,” he said.

The choppers were heard over the Fife coast.

The choppers were heard over the Fife coast.

“I think there was at least one Chinook last night, judging from the noise they make.

“All of the helicopters were circling, and occasionally landing onto, Inchkeith island.

“It went on for hours. I couldn’t sleep.”

The Ministry of Defence, RAF, and Army have all been contacted but so far none have commented.

S document from the site for Military low flying: MOD sponsored air exercises.

S document from the site for Military low flying: MOD sponsored air exercises.

A number of Fife residents have contacted Fifetoday about the loud helicopters.

Kaye Wemyss, said: “They were also buzzing around the St Andrews, Strathkinness area until around 3am this morning.”

Linda Birrell said: “My husband and I work night shift. I was up the road at 1.30am and my husband at the back of 2am. We both went outside and saw two choppers over by bi-fab and one over by Sea Road Methil. They were there up until we went to bed at the back of 3am.”

David Collins of St Andrews said: “I heard the helicopters last night here in St Andrews – probably in the early hours. There have been Chinooks flying in and out of Leuchars over the last few days, so I’d assumed it was them.”

Dan Casey said the choppers appeared to be military and had been spotted over Lundin Links.

“Although they were most frequent last night, every 10 minutes, they had also been flying around during the day and on a few occasions in previous days. I managed to see them during the day and they are definitely military helicopters, I could see the camouflage paint on them.”

Yvonne Armour added: “The helicopter hovered over Lower Largo then left but I could hear it in the distance, then it would return.

“This went on for hours. It kept me awake. At times seemed it hovered overhead. I thought must have been a search. It had black and grey camouflage bodywork, flying very low.”

A document on the MOD’s website giving notice of possible low-flying aircraft indicates an possible, if vague, clue as to what has been going on.

However, it only says that a UK-wide exercise is underway named Chameleon.

Did you see anything last night? Get in touch by emailing ffpnews@fifetoday.co.uk