SERVICEMEN were forced to make an emergency landing this afternoon after a bird flew in to their helicopter as it travelled over west Dorset.

Linda Hutchings, who owns Dunster Farm in Broadoak, with her husband John, got a shock when this RAF helicopter landed in her field.

The personnel aboard the aircraft and explained that a bird had flown in to the windscreen of the aircraft and, fearing it had gone in to the engine, they were forced to make an emergency landing.

The incident happened just after 3pm.

It is understood that the aircraft had come fromay RAF Benson, which is in south Oxfordshire.

Mrs Hutchings said: "My husband called me and said 'you will never guess what has come down in our field.'

"It's definitely something I am never going to see again."

She added: "Apparently a bird went in to the windscreen and they didn't know if it had gone in to the engine or not.

"They said it was a big bird and they could only assume that it had [gone in to the engine].

"If that ever happens, they have to land immediately, they said, and get it checked out."

Once safely on the ground, personnel called for assistance.

An engineer from Oxfordshire was flown to the field to check the aircraft over.

It is understood the aircraft was grounded in the field for around three hours and no one was injured in the incident.

The Ministry of Defence said it was investigating.

Broadoak resident Gerry Holton heard the first helicopter land at around 4pm.

“We just heard it come over,” he said. We thought it must have been to do with Yeovilton, but then it landed in the field.

“We heard it had a mechanical problem or something like that. It’s certainly not something you see around here very often.”