A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster accidentally dropped a U.S. Army Humvee into a rural neighborhood miles from the intended drop zone in North Carolina on Thursday. The Humvee’s parachute deployed and no one was injured in the incident.
The Air Force transport plane hailed from the 437th airlift wing based at Joint Base Charleston and was conducting tests on Fort Bragg on behalf of the U.S. Army’s Operational Test Command. As the massive aircraft dropped down to about 1,500 feet, the heavy load platform deployed prematurely, pulling the Humvee from the aircraft and releasing it’s three parachutes. From there, the Humvee coasted to a safe landing in a wooded lot between two rural properties.
These sorts of drops occur with the assistance of a drag parachute (often referred to as a pilot parachute) that is deployed while the Humvee or other heavy payload is still on board the aircraft. Once the parachute is deployed, the drag it produces pulls the payload out the back bay doors of the plane.
This is how a Humvee drop from a C-17 looks when it’s not over a neighborhood: