On Monday, pop icon Sir Elton John, 74, got a bone-chilling scare when his private jet suffered hydraulic failure at 10,000 feet. John’s Bombardier BD-700 Global Express twin-engine jet, which can carry 19 passengers, had left Farnborough Airport headed for New York, where he was to perform at Madison Square Garden, and was 10,000 feet in the air near Ireland when pilots decided they had to make a U-turn due to hydraulic failure.
To make matters worse, winds back at Farnborough had reached 80 miles per hour, forcing the first two attempts at landing to be aborted. “Firefighters from six stations raced to the scene and the runway was cleared,” The Sun reported.
A witness at the airport 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.
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 airport’s windsock was horizontal and the aircraft was being rocked from side to side by the wind.
The pilot made a valiant attempt to get down with the jet “crabbing” into the storm. But it didn’t make it and had to head back upwards.
It was only at the third attempt to land that the plane got down. The pilot made a flatter approach and the wind had dropped slightly. Everyone watching was mightily relieved.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service commented, “Firefighters from Rushmoor, Hartley Wintney, Basingstoke, Fleet, Yateley and Surrey FRS were called at 11.16 on Monday morning to an incident at Farnborough Airport. No action was taken by HIWFRS with the incident dealt with by the airport fire service.”
John caught a later flight and still performed in New York on Tuesday night. Tuesday afternoon he reassured his fans, “Hello New York! See you at The Garden tonight.”
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) February 22, 2022
A source told The Sun, “It was a white-knuckle ride and Elton was shaken. But he put aside any personal anguish to get back on a plane. For Elton, quite literally, the show must go on.”
“John resumed his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in New Orleans last month after multiple delays,” NME noted. “The legendary singer was due to play a run of rescheduled UK headline dates between October and December 2021, but he was forced to postpone the shows to 2023 after sustaining a hip injury during an ‘awkward’ fall.”
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