Is Elton John OK? Singer caught in terrifying mid-air emergency en route to New York
Legendary singer, Elton John was caught in a terrifying mid-air emergency as his private jet suffered hydraulic failure en route to New York. The pilot attempted emergency landing twice but failed due to heavy wind, but, fortunately, the jet landed in the third attempt and the singer is safe now.
The 74-year-old singer was traveling from Farnborough Airport in Hampshire on Monday, February 21, for a gig in New York in his $90M Bombardier Global Express jet and was at 10,000ft over Ireland when pilots decided they had to return due to a problem with the plane's hydraulic systems. The pilot radioed ahead and requested an emergency landing with fire crews and paramedics racing to the runway to be on hand.
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But due to heavy winds, which blew at 80mph, it buffeted the airfield the plane was twice forced to abort its emergency landing and go around again, only successfully touching down at the third attempt. Emergency services surrounded the private jet as it came to a halt. According to the Sun, Elton was 'shaken' by the incident.
The ordeal began soon after the aircraft left Farnborough bound for New York at 10.20 am. An hour into the journey, the jet suffered hydraulic failure and the pilot turned back as they approached the south coast of Ireland. As they headed back to Hampshire, an emergency landing was declared with ambulance crews and police alerted at 11.19 am. Firefighters from six stations raced to the airport and the runway was cleared.
Plumber Philip Thomson told The Sun, "The terrible weather and epic gusts made it almost impossible to land. Two attempts to touch down failed. The plane was being buffeted and couldn't make it. The aircraft's nose was far too vertical. The plane was descending and was halfway along the runway when it gave up trying to hit the tarmac. It soared back in the air."
As the incident took place in the air, a crowd had gathered when word went out that Elton John was in trouble. An eyewitness said the plane landed on the third attempt and that he 'wouldn't have swapped places with Elton'. Fortunately, nothing happened to the singer and he is completely safe now.
Despite the turmoil, Elton later hopped on a plane to the United States to ensure he was in the country in time for his performance at Madison Square Garden as part of his global Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Elton successfully performed for his fans on Tuesday, playing many of his hit songs, despite whatever happened, he looked to be full of energy when he and his band kicked into the set opener, Bennie And The Jets.