November 11, 2012 14:31
Paul McCartney two feet from helicopter disaster
The former Beatle and his wife Nancy Shevell are involved in a near miss crash at their East Sussex estate
The Beatles man and his wife were traveling in a £5million, nine-seater Air Harrods helicopter in May when their pilot became "disorientated" in poor weather conditions and dropped the aircraft towards trees situated within their East Sussex estate.
The couple avoided a potentially fatal collision with the treetops with only two feet spare when the pilot managed to pull the chartered Sikorsky S-76C helicopter away from the danger and land safely at a nearby airport, reports the The Mail On Sunday.
Information on the near miss has only come to light after the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the Department of Transport decided to investigate the incident. The AAIB have categorised the episode as a "serious incident", which it defines as "involving circumstances indicating that an accident nearly occurred".
The AAIB report reveals that the helicopter's altimeter measured a height of just two metres from a fixed point – in this case believed to be the treetops – and that flying conditions on the night of May 3 included "low cloudbase, poor visibility and raid".
In detail, the report added: "While maneuvering, the commander became disorientated and the helicopter descended towards tops of trees in the forested area to the south and west of the landing site. The pilot then 'executed a go-around' or 'aborted landing'."
McCartney and Shevell were reportedly unaware how close they came to crashing into the tress and have declined to comment on the scary episode.
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