Not one - but THREE - chinook helicopters were spotted flying through the skies of Greater Manchester today.

The military aircraft were captured by people out enjoying the sunny weather in parts of Salford and Trafford this afternoon (Thursday 16 September).

The distinctive twin-rotor helicopters are used for heavy-lifting and transportation by the UK armed forces.

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They are most easily recognised by the distinctive sound they make whilst in the air.

Rare to see so many at once, the sight led many people to take to social media to ask why the helicopters were out.

The chinooks hovering over Trafford Park this afternoon

Matt Woodhams posted a picture of the aircrafts on Twitter.

He wrote: "When not just one, but THREE chinook buzz over the office as I was leaving earlier this afternoon. #bitnoisy #flymeaway.

"Guessing they'd just come out from Barton from the direction of travel."

John Randles wrote: "You wait ages for one to arrive..." as he posted a photograph of the three helicopters together.

Claire Holding captured the noisy aircrafts as they flew over her house in Eccles this afternoon at around 2.30pm.

The Manchester Evening News contacted the RAF who informed us that the helicopters were out for a training exercise named Chameleon 2-21, which runs from September 1 to 17.

On the Ministry of Defence website, various locations across the country have been highlighted as 'low flying areas.'

A spokesperson for the RAF said: "We can confirm RAF rotary assets complete routine operational training over wide areas of the UK for extended periods of time.

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"Our routine training is broad in location and nature and rarely specific to any region, likewise, our exercises are not specific to any region or location."

Chinook helicopters have been used by the UK armed forces since the 1980s and were first used in combat during the Falklands War.

They are usually based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire and have more recently been used to support troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.