Right up front, it's never terribly unusual to see helicopters in the skies over Owensboro. The helipad atop Owensboro Health Regional Hospital sees its fair share of traffic from Life Flight choppers.

Osprey Military Helicopter Does an Owensboro Flyover

But their appearances are infrequent ENOUGH that it always makes me wonder what this helicopter or that helicopter is up to. And that's especially true when I'm able to recognize they AREN'T medical ones.

On Thursday morning, folks got an unusual surprise when a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey copter was spotted over Owensboro. Brad Reid of Reid's Orchard was on his tractor bushhogging when he got these images.

Brad Reid
Brad Reid

Although I have yet to run across any Facebook posts or photos about the helicopter, I do know Brad wasn't the only one who saw it. Our own Ashley Sollars said, "I saw it while I was coming across the blue bridge. I thought it was a drone crop duster." To be fair, it kind of looks like a drone. But maybe it's more that drones are made to look like Osprey helicopters.

Nearby Military Bases Could Explain an Osprey Helicopter's Owensboro Presence

A V-22 Osprey does seem like an unusual piece of aircraft to see flying over a city of 60,000 unless it was headed to Fort Knox or Fort Campbell. Both would be perfectly logical explanations; we used to see all manner of military vehicles when we would take U.S. 60 to Louisville all the time to visit my grandmother. It runs right by Fort Knox, so that was never a shock. But it was always worth pressing my nose against the window for a better look.

Some Background on the V-22 Osprey

It's an unusual helicopter, period. And here's how Boeing describes its function:

The V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft utilizing tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. This combination results in global reach capabilities that allow the V-22 to fill an operational niche unlike any other aircraft.

Take a look at one in action:

You know, I have never ridden in a helicopter, and now I want to more than I ever have before. And I'd like it to be an Osprey, but I'm feeling that will never happen.

I am, however, going to stick with my assumption that the two military bases that are relatively nearby probably offer the explanation as to why we were treated to such a sight on an otherwise ordinary Thursday.

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