A LANDLORD feared an RAF helicopter was about to crash into his riverside pub this week.

The Chinook was flying over Whitney-on-Wye on a training exercise when it was struck by a bird and forced to perform an emergency landing.

Robert Taylor, the owner of the Boat Inn, saw the helicopter through the pub's windows and thought the worst.

"It was coming from the Hay direction and it was clearly in distress for a few seconds," he said.

"It was flying low – as they do on training runs – and I thought it was coming down on the pub."

Mr Taylor said the pilot had wanted to land in the pub's field but as it was being used by campers had to find a spot further away.

"I spoke to the crew and they were clearly glad to have landed," he added.

"They said they had hit a bird and feared engine failure.

"They were here for about an hour checking the helicopter.

"I did offer them refreshments in the pub and a lift in the car but they were happy that the Chinook was capable of flying on again."

An RAF Spokesperson told the Hereford Times that the Chinook was on a training sortie on Tuesday evening from RAF Benson when it was "struck by a bird in the Wye Valley".

"The aircrew followed procedure and made a precautionary landing," he added.

"Having identified no faults or damage to the aircraft, they continued on the sortie without further incident."