Sir Elton John 74 was caught in a terrifying mid air drama as his private jet suffered hydraulic failure en route to New York then twice failed to make an emergency landing due to high winds.
The singer was travelling from Farnborough Airport in Hampshire on Monday for a gig in New York 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 racing to the runway to be on hand.
But as Storm Franklin’s 80mph winds 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 £66m Bombardier Global Express jet as it came to a halt, with sources telling The Sun 74-year-old Sir Elton was ‘shaken’ by the incident.
However, Elton later hopped on a plane to the United States to ensure he was in the country in time for his performance at at Madison Square Garden as part of his global Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.The ordeal begun soon after the aircraft left Farnborough bound for New York at 10.20am.
An hour into the journey, the jet suffered hydraulic failure and the pilot turned back as they approached the south coast of Ireland.Flight data showed the private jet making abortive landing attempts at Farnborough airport
As they headed back to Hampshire, an emergency landing was declared with ambulance crews and police alerted at 11.19am.Firefighters from six stations raced to the airport and the runway was cleared.
‘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.
The eyewitness said the plane landed on the third attempt and that he ‘wouldn’t have swapped places with Elton’.Elton John was flying from Farnborough Airport in Hampshire to New York on Monday for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour show at Madison Square Garden.
The Bombardier Global Express is operated by private individuals, companies, executive charter operators and government agencies.It comes after the legendary singer was forced to cancel two shows in Dallas, Texas after testing positive for Covid last month.
Elton kept busy during the pandemic, releasing a collaboration album aptly-titled The Lockdown Sessions, which he made during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Marking his retirement from performing on the road, the star’s global tour began in September 2018.
Like other musicians he was forced to postpone live shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.His Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour had first been postponed back in March 2020. He announced at the time that he would be postponing 19 dates as the pandemic began.
He finished his statement by saying ‘when it is safe and when we can all enjoy ourselves together in the best possible circumstances’.He had been expected to tour across North America until April. The tour is scheduled to take him to Europe and back to North America before playing in Australia and New Zealand next year.
The Rocket Man star is expected to wrap up the tour in Europe in 2023. His return to the road means he will miss his own Oscars bash this year due to a schedulingclash, with husband David Furnish, 59, taking over.The singer has hosted an annual Hollywood party on Academy Awards night for the past 30 years, in order to raise money for his AIDS Foundation, but he will be absent this year.
The Oscars have been postponed from February to March 27 when Elton is back on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour and he reportedly didn’t want to disappoint fans after the tour was previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.