AN AMERICAN V-22 Osprey aircraft - capable of vertical take-off and landing - is said to have been involved in a military exercise at a former World War Two airfield last month.

Parachutists are also reported to have landed on Burn Airfield at Burn, near Selby.

A villager, responding to a report in The Press last week about villagers being startled by the noise of heavy aircraft flying over their homes and landing at the airfield, said she lived right next to it and the landings were 'not a problem' to her.

Posting on The Press website, she said: "The aircraft were not intrusive, the kids loved it and to see Osprey v22 flying at night can only be described as awesome.

"It wasn't a problem at all, it was fab to watch. Yes, it was noisy but it was very exciting."

The V22 Osprey is a tiltrotor military aircraft, designed to combine a conventional helicopter with a turboprop aircraft.

A reader posted that the RAF did not operate them 'so it must have been the Yanks?' but another said they believed that the UK military leased them for use on special operations, which might tie in with unexpected nocturnal training.

A parish councillor told The Press today she had been surprised by the noise of the aircraft over her home. "I thought a Chinook was landing in the garden," she said.

She stressed that she understood the need for such exercises 'to keep the island safe' but said she thought the parish could have been informed in advance.

She said she had contacted police after residents had spoken to her about the exercise and was told by the force that there had also been parachuting on to the airfield.

North Yorkshire Police said last week it had received two 'reports of concern' from residents about low-flying aircraft, while Selby District Council said it had granted permission to the Ministry of Defence for the airfield to be used for an exercise recently.

RAF Burn opened at the heart of the war in 1942 and first hosted No. 431 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force as part of 4 Group RAF Bomber Command.

1944 No. 578 Squadron RAF squadron was relocated to RAF Burn from RAF Snaith, and the station was closed for flying operations in July 1945.

The runways remained intact and are used by Burn Gliding Club Ltd.