When a Marine forgot his cellphone at lunch in Bar Harbor, Maine, on Nov. 18, he did what anyone would do ― called the restaurant where he left it.
But when the restaurant server tried to coordinate pickup, and asked the Marine if he was walking or driving, the answer was a bit surprising.
“We’re landing a helicopter at the ball field,” the Marine said, according to the Mount Desert Islander.
The LifeFlight ambulance helo often uses the nearby public athletic fields as a landing zone, according the Islander, but when a restaurant employee arrived with the forgotten cellphone, it was an AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter there waiting, with a UH-1Y Venom overhead.
“He pulled the [velcro] patch off of his jacket and handed it to me” as a thank you, the employee told Mount Desert Islander.
The Marines are from New Orleans-based reserve unit Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773, Maj. Andrew Aranda, spokesman at Marine Corps Forces Reserve Public Affairs, told Task & Purpose.
An investigation will look at exactly why the Cobra helicopter landed on the athletic field on Mount Desert Island, said Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns, who added that the Corps apologizes for any disruption the incident may have caused local residents.
“We have seen the report in the local newspaper so we are investigating event to gather our own facts,” Burns said Wednesday in a statement. “Additionally, we will be working with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to determine if all the safety procedures were followed in accordance with federal regulations.”
The Marine Corps is not releasing the names of the Marines involved in the incident, she said. It is too early to say whether any of the pilots will be disciplined.
“We hold our pilots accountable for the safe and proper use of our aircraft,” Burns said. “We will take any administrative or legal action, as appropriate.”
Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times.