The landing was made just 50 yards from the King's House Hotel in Glencoe after the crew heard a loud bang.
The helicopter was taking part in a training exercise in Glencoe when the pilot, who had three others on board, became aware of the gearbox fault.
Rod Leitch, owner of the King's House Hotel, said: "The people on the helicopter heard a big bang and they landed about 50 yards from the hotel. I understand it was a cracked gearbox.
"They were all okay, but they couldn't get it shifted by road, it was too heavy. They tried to get a crane but the crane was 50 tonnes and the bridge here is only 25 tonnes."
Eventually the helicopter was stripped down and placed under guard for almost a week.
It was then flown by a Chinook from RAF Odiham in Hampshire back to HMS Gannet in Ayrshire. Calum MacLeod, of Glencoe Mountain Resort, said: "A Royal Navy spokesman said the crew became aware of an issue with the helicopter and set it down at the nearest place they could find."
He said the helicopter would be inspected as part of an investigation.