Massive Military Helicopter Spotted Doing Exercises Over Duluth’s Park Point
I think I can honestly say I've never seen a Chinook Helicopter in action this close. I was actually out fishing in the boat when I heard the helicopter blades off in the distance. At first, it was hard to distinguish what it was, but as it got closer I saw the signature of two large rotors.
The Chinook Helicopter is the workhorse of the National Guard, according to their recruiting website.
The Chinook is the workhorse of all Army National Guard aviation airframes, suited for a variety of missions, including air assault, lift operations, medical evacuations, resupply operations, aircraft recovery, and paradrop/rappelling operations. The Chinook is a tandem-rotor helicopter capable of reaching speeds in excess of 170 knots, making it the fastest in the U.S. Army. It features a triple-hook cargo system, allowing it to carry heavy payloads, such as bulldozers, 155 mm M198 howitzers, or 40-foot cargo containers.
Fortunately, I had my phone handy and I was able to take some pictures and even video which I shared on TikTok below.
The chopper first came around and hovered just feet above the water just off of the Sky Harbor Airport runway. It looked like it was doing some training exercises, and appeared to have come from the direction of the 148th Airbase at the Duluth International Airport.
It's pretty common for us to see F-16s flying around the Northland as those aircraft are based in Duluth. Sometimes we see the military cargo planes coming to and from the airbase as well. This is the first time I personally have seen a Chinook Helicopter flying over Duluth.
It's also definitely as close as I've been. The helicopter eventually landed on the runway, and personnel could be seen walking around the massive helicopter.
The helicopter had markings of the Minnesota National Guard. It's from the 34th Expeditionary Aviation Combat Brigade based in St. Paul.
Check out the video. It was super cool to witness this to end our night fishing on the bay. Oh, and the fish at the end of the video was a decent catfish, but I had to put the phone down to help get it in the boat.