Bringing People Together
I see these Chinooks often flying over Hampton toward London, sometimes one but mainly two in formation.
This being an aircraft used mostly by the military to transport troops. I wonder if they carry our special forces.
Anyone got an answer, or do we just don't go there?
Military helicopter aircrew need to be familiar with flying in busy airspace and the Heathrow and London area is perfect for that. I think its just purely for training. There are a few military air bases about too and you can often see apache, lynx and sea king helicopters flying along the path of the Thames then turn off towards the north (Heathrow) to RAF Northolt.
They`re probably just going back to their base near Hook. The flight path largely follows the Thames because they have to be near open spaces where they can land if they have a technical problem.
They are following a designated helicopter route called H3 which joins/exits the London Control Zone at Bagshot. All the UK Chinooks are based at RAF Odiham and as Lucy said the aircrew use these routes to familiarise themselves with civilian airspace and ATC procedures.
Here is a link to the CAA pdf of the heliroutes : http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/7/20100316LondonHeliChart.pdf