Sir Elton John encountered a harrowing scare after a hydraulic failure aboard his private jet forced an emergency landing outside London that twice had to be aborted due to intense winds from Storm Franklin.
Hydraulic Failure On Private Jet With Elton John Onboard Forces Emergency Landing
While approaching the coast of southern Ireland about an hour into the journey to New York, John’s Bombardier Global Express private jet (valued at about $90 million) suffered hydraulic failure. The jet was traveling at 10,000 feet at the time and immediately turned back toward Farnborough Airport (FAB), an airport used by the rich and famous in London to travel via private jet without the hassle of a busy airport with commercial traffic.
The pilot radioed in the emergency and a cadre of fire engines lined up to wait for the arrival of the jet at FAB. But powerful winds from Storm Franklin, reaching speeds of 80 miles per hour, assailed the airport, forcing pilots to abort landing not just once, but twice.
A witness told the UK Daily Mail:
“The jet was being buffeted and couldn’t land. It was horrible to see.”
“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 third attempt was the charm and the aircraft safely landed and taxied off the active runway. Although the 74-year-old John was shaken by the ordeal, he shook it off and arranged for alternate transport to New York, where he was set to perform at Madison Square Garden as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.
Rocketman could have used a rocket after his private jet suffered a hydraulic failure and was forced to make an emergency landing. But gale force winds complicated matters further, leading to two aborted landings before a third successful attempt. Dazed but still sparkling, a visibly shaken Sir Elton John walked off the plane unscathed.