A private plane bringing Elton John from London to New York was forced to make an emergency landing yesterday after a “hydraulic failure” was discovered just about an hour into his flight from England to New York.
No one was hurt, but descriptions of the incident paint a harrowing scene.
The plane was over the Atlantic Ocean when the crew learned of the hydraulic issue and determined they had to head back to Farnborough Airport – about 40 miles south of London.
But the maneuver was complicated by high winds gusting at over 80 miles per hour, which made it “almost impossible to land.” The wind was so significant that two attempts to touch down failed before the pilot was able to safely make contact with the runway on a third descent.
“The plane was being buffeted and couldn’t make it,” one eye witness told The Sun. “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.”
When they plane finally did land, it was greeted be emergency crews and a crowd of bystanders who heard that Elton was aboard.
Sir John was headed to New York to perform Tuesday and Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden as part of his ‘Farewell, Yellow Brick Road’ tour.
Undeterred, Elton soon boarded another flight to New York and made it to his gig on time. Of course.