A U.S. Army Humvee vehicle landed in a wooded part of a rural neighborhood outside of Fort Bragg, North Carolina after prematurely deploying from a U.S. Air Force C-17, officials said. No one was hurt in the incident that is currently under investigation.
The incident occurred as the Army's Operational Test Command was testing a new "heavy load platform" that was carrying a Humvee, said Tom McCollum, a spokesman for Fort Bragg.
McCollum said that about a mile from the intended Sicily Drop Zone at Fort Bragg, the platform deployed prematurely from the rear of the C-17 Globemaster, which was flying at 1,500 feet of altitude.
The C-17 was "on a routine air drop test training mission and inadvertently dropped a U.S. Army Humvee vehicle prematurely over Cameron, North Carolina, approximately five miles from the Fort Bragg drop zone," said an Air Force statement.
The three attached parachutes deployed properly and the Humvee and its platform landed in an approximately 2-acre wooded area between two residential properties in Harnett County, North Carolina.
No one was hurt in the incident.
"Everything went as planned except for the early release,” McCollum said, referring to how a drogue chute had pulled the platform out of the back of the cargo aircraft.
But McCollum said the aircraft was not supposed to have gone out the back of plane so soon.
He confirmed that the new heavy payload was being tested by the Army's Operational Test Command that has the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate at Fort Bragg.
“A load of some kind was released early and we’re looking into how it happened,” said Michael Novogradac, a spokesman for the U.S. Army’s Operational Test Command. He added that the incident is under investigation
The C-17 Globemaster III was from the 437th Airlift Wing based at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, said Marvin Krause a base spokesman. Krause said the plane had taken off and landed at Pope Army Airfield (next to Fort Bragg).