London, November 11 (ANI): On May 3 of this year, Sir Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell were just two feet away from disaster when the pilot of their helicopter became ‘disorientated’ in bad weather and plunged towards trees, it has been revealed.
They escape from the potential fatal crash after the pilot dramatically lifted the chartered Sikorsky S-76C away from the rain-lashed treetops, according to the Daily Mail.
The incident happened as the aircraft, with the couple on board, attempted to land at night on a helipad at their East Sussex estate.
The pilot eventually landed safely after diverting to Lydd Airport in Kent, 15 miles from their home near Rye, the paper revealed.
Though Sir Paul and his wife have declined to comment about the incident, the Department of Transport is investigating the near miss.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has categorised the episode as a ‘serious incident’, which it defines as ‘involving circumstances indicating that an accident nearly occurred’.
The 5million pound nine-seater helicopter, which weighs 5.3 tons, was chartered from Air Harrods, which describes itself as the ‘leading London-based business aviation service provider’.
Earlier in the evening of that day, the couple had been to the Liberty department store in the West End for the launch of a vegetarian cookbook written by Sir Paul’s eldest daughter Mary.
They took off from Battersea heliport in South London at 9.30pm, reaching East Sussex 25 minutes later.
Peter Norton, chief executive of the British Helicopter Association, last night described the incident as ‘alarming’.
“He [the pilot] was going to land and realised he wasn’t in control of the aircraft because of the weather conditions and visibility; he pulled in lots of power to climb away and correct the aircraft to its proper flightpath and missed whatever it was by two feet,” he said.
The Air Harrods pilot thought to have been at the controls during the incident has refused to comment on the incident and his company also declined to say whether he faced disciplinary action. (ANI)