Elton John nearly ended up becoming a “Rocket Man.”
The famed singer suffered a terrifying ordeal when the private jet he was flying in suffered a hydraulic failure at 10,000 feet and was forced to make an emergency landing.
John was flying from the UK to New York, where he’s slated to perform at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday and Wednesday night. But something went wrong only an hour into the and the pilot was forced to make a U-turn near the coast of southern Ireland.
However, ferocious winds reaching 80 mph meant that the plane, emblazoned with a giant E, twice aborted landing while ambulances and fire crews waited on hand at Farnborough Airport, which cleared a runway.
“The jet was being buffeted and couldn’t land. It was horrible to see,” a witness told The Sun.
Another witness, plumber Philip Thomson, says that the airport fell silent when word got around that the twin-jet Bombardier Global Express was in peril.
An aerial photo of the airport where John’s private jet made an emergency landing.Getty Images
“The plane was being buffeted and couldn’t make it,” Thomson said. “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,” he continued. “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.”
“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,” Thomson added.
The “Your Song” singer was said to be shaken by the ordeal but didn’t want to disappoint fans and boarded a later flight for his New York gig, part of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.“
A publicist for John did not get back for comment.