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US Marine Helicopter Lands in Walmart Parking Lot

A Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, an aircraft designed to fly in adverse weather conditions, landed in Walmart parking lot not because of severe weather but because the pilot and Marines aboard were hungry and needed to make a stop for provisions. The parking lot at the Walmart Supercenter in El Cajon, CA served as a large open space to land a very large helicopter next to several RVs also parked there. The pilot executed a perfect landing and the Marines exited the helicopter quickly and secured the perimeter. Once the onlookers from the RVs had been searched and disarmed, the Marines and the pilot made their way to a nearby Panda Express for lunch. Upon returning to the helicopter, the pilot found that the aircraft had been ticketed for parking without a special permit and had a large parking boot attached to one of the wheels. The began making phone calls to get the parking boot removed while the Marines practiced close quarters combat as they entered the Walmart to buy snacks and drinks. Sensing trouble with his commanders and a mountain of paperwork in his future, the pilot decided not turn in an expense report for the Chinese lunch, not pay the parking ticket using his Marine Corps issued corporate American Express card, and encouraged the Marines to practice a retreat from the Walmart as if under fire for “training purposes”. The helicopter returned to Miramar only 45 minutes overdue. The Commandant of the Marine Corp demoted the pilot to co-pilot and the Marines all back to privates. The city council of El Cajon quickly enacted an ordinance banning helicopters from landing in any parking lot within city limits. The local air ambulance service has requested an exemption, but that request is pending a hostile and skeptical review by the council.