UPDATED WITH VIDEO: A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter belonging to the Commando Helicopter Force unexpectedly landed in Sandown last night (Tuesday) after the military giant developed a technical issue.

Whilst on a normal night time training operation over the Isle of Wight, the 846 Naval Air Squadron Merlin Mk3 chopper developed a minor fault. As a safety precaution the pilot decided to land at Sandown Airport at just gone 18:00.

Military activity continued in the area throughout the evening when a second Merlin was drafted in to deliver spare parts for the grounded counterpart.

The RNAS Yeovilton-based aircraft has remained on the ground at Sandown for over 19 hours, however a spokesperson for the Royal Navy has confirmed that repairs are underway and the Merlin is expected to take off again shortly.

UPDATE @ 16:00 – The Royal Navy Merlin helicopter took off from Sandown Airport at just before 15:30, as captured by Island Echo reader Andy Lin.

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