On a return trip to the coastal marine base Camp Lejeune, three marine Osprey aircrafts landed at the airport around 3:15 p.m. Thursday after an indicator light came on in one of the aircraft, said Kimble Wallace, manager of the airport .
“It was not an emergency, but they wanted to check it out so they called to land,” Wallace said.
Victoria Ekstrand , an assistant professor at the UNC School of Journalism and a resident of Coker Hills neighborhood near the airport, said the aircraft were flying at an unusually low altitude and barely above the tops of her pine trees.
She said the aircraft were so low she could see the propellers and the landing gear.
Ekstrand said usually only small propeller planes fly over her house, and normally only on the weekends.
“It was loud. Insanely loud,” she said. “They’re never that low. Never.”
After five minutes, the two other aircraft took off and circled at an altitude of about 3,000 feet while the other Osprey checked to see if it was able to return to Lejeune, he said.
The two circling aircraft were later called back to Lejeune to conserve fuel. After 58 minutes on the ground, the third Osprey was cleared to return to the camp, Wallace said.