Elton John experienced a very close call en route to New York when his private jet was forced to make an emergency landing.
According to The Sun, Sir Elton was leaving London on his way to New York for a two-night stand at Madison Square Garden on February 22 and 23 when his plane experienced “hydraulic failure” about an hour after takeoff. This resulted in the plane having to turn around and land at Farnborough Airport, a private airport near London.
There was another big problem: Intense storm/wind conditions made for an even more difficult emergency landing.
An employee at Farnborough Airport was quoted by The Sun saying, “The terrible weather and epic gusts made it almost impossible to land. Two attempts to touch down failed…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 employee added, “The pilot made a flatter approach and the wind had dropped slightly. Everyone watching was mightily relieved. It was a horrible thing to see, and you wouldn’t have swapped places with Elton on that small plane for anything. I bet he said a few prayers of thanks.”
Thankfully, everyone was okay, and John was able to take a later flight to make it to New York for his shows.