Elton John’s private jet was forced to make an emergency landing after reportedly suffering “hydraulic failure” mid-flight.
The plane was about an hour into its route from England to New York when the problems began. It reversed course and headed back to Farnborough Airport, located approximately an hour south of London. However, high winds — with gusts reportedly in excess of 80 miles per hour — made the return extremely difficult.
“The terrible weather and epic gusts made it almost impossible to land. Two attempts to touch down failed,” an eye witness explained to The Sun. “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.”
When the first attempt to land proved too dangerous, the pilot opted to head back up and reapproach for additional attempts. As this was happening, emergency crew, including fire and rescue support, were readying on the ground. At the same time, word began to spread about whose plane was attempting to land.
“A crowd had gathered after word went around that Elton was in difficulty. And as the plane came around again for a second attempt to land, the storm was doing its worst,” the witness explained. “The airport’s windsock was horizontal and the aircraft was being rocked from side to side by the wind.”
After the second attempt resulted in another aborted landing, the pilot was finally able to land safely on the third try.
Impressively, the ordeal didn’t deter Elton. The rocker soon boarded another flight to New York, where he was scheduled to perform at Madison Square Garden tonight and tomorrow (Feb. 22 and 23) as part of his ongoing Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
“It was a white-knuckle ride and Elton was shaken. But he put aside any personal anguish to get back on a plane,” a source explained to The Sun. “For Elton, quite literally, the show must go on.”
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