If you live near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, you’re probably used to hearing jets pass overhead or seeing convoys on your drive to the supermarket. What you’re probably not expecting, though, is to have a Humvee dropped in your backyard.
But that’s exactly what happened earlier today, when a C-17 transport testing a new airdrop system accidentally released a Humvee from 1,500 feet, a mile from its intended target. Instead of landing in the Sicily Drop Zone, the nearly three-ton vehicle ended up in a tree. Luckily, other than to the branches, there were no injuries.
According to video available at ABC News, the Humvee landed a stone’s throw from a civilian house, in a tree approximately thirty feet above ground. The Humvee was still suspended there when the Army arrived to pick it up.
Most airdrops go off with problems, or at least without news crews, but this is not the first time there’s been trouble. In 2016, three Humvees plummeted to Earth after a Army sergeant cut the rigging that held the vehicles to their parachutes. The sergeant responsible was found guilty by court-martial.
An Army spokesman said that the airdrop had been conducted by the service’s Operational Test Command as they tested a new parachute system for heavy equipment. The three parachutes designed to gently lower the Humvee to the ground worked, he said, and the test “went as planned—except for the early release.”